how Europe will change the rules of the Internet and social media

It’s done ! Following the DMA, Europe voted for the DSA, a new part of its policy aimed at regulating the practices of web giants.

In the Old Continent, Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Twitter will have to comply with very strict new rules. And beware of sanctions if they don’t. Encouraged by European Commissioner Thierry Breton, this project will put an end to the sometimes outrageous practices of the web giants.

Specifically, what will change? What exactly are DSA and DMA? What sanctions in case of non-compliance. We will tell you everything.

DSA, DMA: What is it?

The DMA and the DSA are two complementary components to which it is addressed monitor the activity of digital giants.

AMD it means Digital market law. This text, which brings together around twenty rules, is presented by the European authorities as a means of limiting the monopoly of large digital companies, such as GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft) and Twitter.

Other companies are also part of the lot but the final list is not yet established. The text explains that these are the companies affected “provide platform services with a market capitalization of at least 75 billion euros or an annual turnover of more than 7.5 billion euros.”.

They must provide services such as “browsers, messaging or social media with at least 45 million end users a month in the EU and 10,000 business users a year.”

The goal of DMA is to improve competition give companies other than the size of Google or Apple the opportunity to participate in the digital economy. The DMA is also reviewing the rules on targeted advertising.

DSA, concluded after the DMA. It means Digital Services Act. And if the discussions lasted longer, it’s because the topics are more specific to users. It is this text that goes push the web giants to review their entire operation in Europe.

To simplify, the DSA aims to more severely sanction the excesses of users on the network, giving responsibility to GAFAM. Thus, in the face of hate speech, for example, social media will no longer be able to brandish the excuse of “We are only intermediaries.”

Specifically, what will change for users?

All is well, but how will all this materialize on a daily basis for users? We focus first the changes involved with DMA. Upon entry into force, the user may:

  • freely choose your browser, virtual assistant or search engine
  • remove all preinstalled applications on electronic devices
  • Choose your app store, including iPhone. This is a real blow to Apple, which will have to authorize the installation of alternative stores in the App Store.
  • they choose to freely integrate their means of payment into their smartphone. Again, Apple will look red, as it will have to open the iPhone’s NFC chip to systems other than Apple Pay
  • send a message to your interlocutors to and from any service. For example, if we send a message from WhatsApp to a user who has iMessage, the messages must be able to be exchanged, this is called interoperability of messaging platforms.

The DSA is also making big changes in the daily life of users. These are the main changes made:

  • ban digital players from targeting advertising to children or based on sensitive data (sexual orientation, religion, for example)
  • openness of algorithms to authorities. A team of specialists (initially 150 according to Thierry Breton) will be able to analyze the sacrosanct algorithms of the platforms on request.
  • the conditions of use must be comprehensible to everyone. No more than 50 pages with small mentions at the bottom of the page.
  • platforms (especially social networks) will have to form moderation teams, able to understand the language of each country and will have to ensure the application of the laws of reality in the virtual world. For example, hate speech, racism, insults, harassment will be comments that will be moderated by the platforms.
  • social media will have to integrate a simple reporting tool with the obligation to react quickly
  • in the event of a crisis, digital players will have to react at the request of Europe

These are the main changes that the new European texts will bring. Other more technical rules are also part of the text, but they do not necessarily have a direct impact on users’ daily lives. Either way, if they do not want to lose a market of 450 million users (larger than the United States), the web giants will have to comply.

When will these new rules apply?

The DMA will take effect before the DSA. Initially scheduled for January 2023, the implementation of the DMA standards will take place in the spring of 2023 according to the timetable proposed by the European authorities.

The DSA will be in place by the end of 2023, the time for digital giants to review their copy. In fact, the DSA involves profound changes in its policies, but also in its teams. As we explained earlier, digital players will need to expand their moderation teams, for example.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

In case of non-compliance with the DMA rules, the European Commission has foreseen heavy sanctions. Thus, companies that do not play the game will be fined up to 10% of the global turnover of the previous year and up to 20% in case of recurrence.

Taking the example of Apple, which reached a turnover of $ 365 billion in 2021, the fine could reach $ 36.5 billion. In comparison, Germany, the largest contributor to Europe’s budget, contributed € 38 billion in 2021.

And in the event of a systematic infringement, the Commission is also granted the right to prohibit the purchase of other companies for a certain period.

Sanctions on companies which do not comply with DSA regulations they are equally serious. Fines for non-compliance it can reach up to 6% of global turnover. And in the event of repeated breaches, the European Union grants itself the right to completely ban a company from operating in the European market. In other words, the EU may decide to cut Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on. in all European countries if the company does not comply with the rules.

Leave a Comment