Why Europe’s Digital Service Act Is Bad News For Big Tech But Good For Users

Why Europe’s Digital Service Act Is Bad News For Big Tech But Good For Users


The most rigid digital regulation region, Europe, is stepping up its effort to guarantee users’ rights online by cracking down on Big-Tech tactics.

Europe is moving forward to protect digital rights with the new Digital Services Act (DSA). The law could change how Big Tech does business in that part of the world. Europe is one of the most challenging markets for digital companies. The region also sets precedents in global regulation and digital laws.

Government watchdogs in the U.K. and European countries follow online users’ data protection rights and consumer protections. As a result, companies like Facebook, Amazon, Google and other giants have seen products and services canceled, faced trials and paid-up millionaire fines for breaches. However, many argue that these fines are nothing but a “slap on the wrist” and have no real impact nor generate real change.

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The Europe Union council said they had set the standards for the general approach to the new DSA act. “What is illegal offline should be illegal online,” the European council warned. The DSA Act is a detailed regulation, but great lengths are dedicated to providing legal tools and resources for a crack-down on Big Tech. The law intends to keep the people safe from illegal goods, contents, or services and protect their fundamental rights online.

You Don’t Lose Your Rights When You’re Online


Photo via European Council.

The DSA act is designed to protect the rights of online users. Most current laws and regulations are outdated and were written before the digital days. Even the updates for these laws do not provide the necessary tools for the authorities to jump into the game and make a difference. In Europe, like in the rest of the world, just a small number of large online platforms have the most significant share of the market. “With over 45 million active users, they produce a turnover of 6.5 billion Euros or more in the last three financial years,” the European council says.


The new DSA law sets clear responsibilities and accountabilities for providers of online services. This includes search engines, social media and online marketplaces. The text also provides enhanced protection for minors online. Obligations and stricter rules will be effective for Big Tech. Under the DSA, national authorities will have the power to issue orders that include information and data disclosure, information of actions and updates, and even demands to bring down content from servers. The law will be enforced under “the country-of-origin” concept, but the European Commission can also intervene when large online companies commit infringements.


In Europe, users have complained about several Big Tech tactics. The new law is designed to put an end to them. These include promoting their own products, limiting payments possibilities (only to benefit their own payment methods), re-using or transferring personal data, imposing unfair conditions, pre-installing software, restricting businesses, and several others. EU’s digital chief Margrethe Vestager says that Europe is not alone in this new effort to bring digital rights to the real world. “We see similar discussions happen in Australia, in India, and in the United States,” Vestager said at a press conference. “We aim to be in the forefront of this global momentum,” Vestager says.


Next: Facebook’s Ray-Ban Smart Glasses May Have Just Hit A Wall In Europe

Source: European Council, Reuters

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