The European Parliament has given its approval to the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA).
Between them the DSA and DMA are designed to tackle all forms of illegal content: counterfeit or dangerous products, incitement to violence and hate speech. There’s also a framework for online advertising to limit the use of data and protect the most vulnerable users, especially children and protection for consumers in online marketplaces.
The Association for Commercial Television said the final legislation was “vastly better” than the original proposals. ACT Director General Grégoire Polad commented: “The adoption of the Digital Services Package is the beginning of the end for impunity in the digital sphere. It is however only the end of the beginning of a new wave of regulation to ensure big tech complies with the rules all other economic actors have always been subject to. We look forward to a host of new proposals to effectively curtail the abuses taking place in the digital sphere, notably the piracy of live content and the spread and ongoing monetization of disinformation.”
However, the EBU while welcoming the legislation cautioned the Digital Services Package could only be effective if big tech companies comply with the rules in practice. The European Commission and national regulators must now put the spotlight on oversight and enforcement.
EBU’s Head of the Brussels Office, Wouter Gekiere said: “The EU has shown great determination to set a high standard for platform regulation. The DSA and DMA will make a difference for European citizens and businesses in their day-to-day interactions with online platforms. Particularly, the DMA will make the digital sector fairer and more competitive, curtailing the market dominance of gatekeeper platforms.”
The intention of DSA and DMA is clear, to clip the wings of the platforms seen as “too big to care”, clearly a reference to Google, Facebook and others whose lack of intervention is widely perceived to have interfered with the political process and spread disinformation.
Broadcasters will also be hoping it mops up breaches of copyright.