The European Union has introduced stricter regulations against tech giants.
The regulations were released on Tuesday with a list of 19 companies that will be placed under stricter regulatory control through its Digital Service Act (DSA).
The companies, including Facebook, Twitter, and 17 others, are classified as very large online platforms (VLOPs) or very large online search engines (VLOSEs) and will now be placed under closer monitoring by EU regulators.
Other companies on the list include Alibaba’s AliExpress, Amazon Marketplace, Apple AppStore, Booking.com, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Shopping, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Wikipedia, YouTube, Zalando, Bing, and Google Search.
These platforms now have four months to comply with the rules under the DSA umbrella. This includes giving internet users information on why they are being recommended certain websites or other details, and the possibility to opt-out.
All ads on these platforms must also include a label on who paid for them. Also, contracts with terms and conditions must have a summary in “plain language” and in the different languages of the countries they are operating in.
Failure to implement these measures could lead to fines of up to 6% of the firm’s global turnover and, ultimately, could lead to a temporary ban from operating in the region.
European regulators have previously warned Elon Musk, CEO of Twitter, that his firm faces significant amounts of work to comply with the new rulebook.
Thierry Breton, the European commissioner for the internal market, told Politico Europe that these companies “will not be able to act as if they were too big to care.” He added in a statement Tuesday:
“The countdown is starting for 19 very large online platforms and search engines to fully comply with the special obligations that the Digital Services Act imposes on them.”
The Digital Service Act (DSA) came into force in November 2022 and will be directly applicable across the EU from 17th February 2024. Although some provisions became applicable upon passage of the Act, it builds on the rules of the e-Commerce Directive of 2000 and seeks to address emerging issues relating to online intermediaries.
It was enacted to create a safer digital space in which the fundamental rights of all users of digital services are protected, particularly, rules relating to the due diligence obligations of certain categories of providers of online platforms.