The European Commission has agreed on a new regulation that will affect 19 major internet platforms, including Google, Microsoft and Apple. They will mainly concern the safety of users and the protection of their personal data. What else do the rules impose on companies?
New rules for internet companies
The Digital Services Act, as the set of rules is called, came into force on Tuesday 25 April and will affect all online platforms with at least 45 million monthly visitors. Platform operators now have four months to comply with the new rules.
The rules include, among other things, a requirement that targeted ads not be displayed based on sensitive data such as sexual orientation, ethnicity or political views. Minority protection, greater transparency and accountability are required. It is also prohibited to target advertising at children.
Who’s in for a change?
The document available on the European Commission’s website lists all companies that are subject to the rules. This includes most services from Google, the Bing search engine, Apple’s AppStore, social networks from Meta, also Snapchat, TikTok, LinkedIn, servers such as Booking.com, Pinterest and Wikipedia, and even online shops such as Zalando, Amazon Store and AliExpress.
These companies will also be tasked with analysing the various risks associated with illegal content, misinformation, violence or mental health and collecting data on them, which will then be made available to researchers. It will be interesting to see to what extent the changes take effect or how, for example, TikTok copes with them.