A major EU legislator in the European Parliament directed debates on strict new rules against Facebook, Google and other large online platforms, gaining support to strengthen the basic rights of Europeans in the draft rules.

The Digital Services Act (DSA) introduced by the European Commission in December forced tech giants to take more measures to address illegal content such as hate speech and child sexual abuse materials on their platforms.

However, Patrick Breyer, who represents the Parliament’s Civil Liberties and Judicial Committee, is responsible for leading the DSA through Parliament, and he hopes to put more emphasis on fundamental rights and digital privacy in the rules.

The committee approved his proposal on Wednesday, which requires the approval of two other committees studying draft rules. The goal of the parliament is to present a common position by the end of this year.

“It is clear that the European Parliament’s proposal will be more ambitious than the committee’s proposal and may be groundbreaking in some respects,” Breyer said in an interview with Reuters.

His proposals include the right to anonymously use and pay for digital services where reasonably feasible, the phasing out of non-commercial and political advertising and personalized positioning, and the platform’s no obligation to block access to content.

The final parliamentary proposal will have to be discussed with EU countries, and the rules may come into effect next year.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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