There are still almost two years to go to see the new European Union Digital Services Law fully in action, but the changes that will come with it will mark a new beginning in the way we use the Internet.
The European Union is clear that control is the way forward, and even more so when it comes to large technology corporations. More than a year ago the bill came to light with which this body made up of different countries wants to put limits on the different technology companies that roam freely in the market.
The Digital Services Law has become a reality and yesterday, October 27, 2022, it was officially presented in the official bulletin of the European Union. Although it is already official, we will have to wait until November 16, 2022 for several of its precepts to begin to be applied and February 17, 2024 to see her in action in full.
Bearing in mind that there are less than two weeks left before it starts to work in part the new Digital Services Law, we are going to see how it will work and, above all, why it is so important at the user level. To get some context, this new law replaces a law that was introduced in 2000.
Many things have changed from the previous proposal to the date we are in and, therefore, a revision of the legislation was necessary in order to adapt it to the present. Regulating the digital sector is the main task and for this the first thing that this new law will do is surround the big technology companies.
The EU has its Digital Services Law ready
There are several aspects to take into account within the Digital Services Law of the European Union. First, it is necessary to divide the parties that will be affected: citizens, digital service providers, companies that use digital services and society in general. Come on, there is a lot at stake around what was presented by the European Commission.
Although it plays different groups, all are affected by an important change. What the Council of Europe is presenting is that providers of online services that are found as intermediaries know the responsibilities. This means that both search engines, social networks, cloud service providers, online stores and etc. are in the spotlight.
Among the main changes that will bring the fact that they take responsibility is the new way in which they will have to manage personal data. And, it is that, not everything goes when it comes to collecting information: religion, race and gender are left out when it comes to being used to direct advertising.
As if this were not enough, advertising for minors is completely prohibited. Also, in case of encountering any type of illegal content within any of its platforms (social networks, online stores, cloud services…) will be responsible for its elimination immediately.
Being aware of their responsibilities, they must also know what can happen if they decide not to comply with any of these new measures. In the most extreme cases that can occur, the European Union could fine companies with figures that can reach up to 10% of their turnover and in case of reoffending with up to 20%.
How does the European Union Digital Services Law affect you in real life?
The Digital Services Law will impact social networks. Yes, the EU has got its hands on one of the most uncontrolled sectors that exist today. In fact, one of the main changes that is expected to be seen is that the platforms give users options when viewing content.
This means that users will have control when it comes to ordering how content is recommended within their different social networks. which means that the chronological feeds will have to return to social networks such as Instagram. This may be one of the biggest positive points for users, but it does not mean that everything is like that.
In fact, in the text offered by the EU about the Digital Services Law and as we have seen a few lines above; Those legally responsible for the content published on social networks will be the social networks themselves.. This mechanism can cause social networks to decide to exercise greater control than they have been doing in order to protect themselves.
And, it is that, it can be assumed that to limit any type of legal action that can be taken against them, content that poses a problem or is considered harmful may be banned within the platforms; even if this particular content is not illegal. In addition, causing them to cross out this content as a propellant of disinformation.
As for more specific cases, SMEs or small businesses will enjoy benefits compared to what has been seen so far. In fact, thanks to the fact that this Digital Services Law favors competitiveness without limitations; Users will be encouraged to have easy access to this type of business in the same way as to large companies.