Home Technology The EU Digital Services Act and Possible Days of Reckoning for Big Tech

The EU Digital Services Act and Possible Days of Reckoning for Big Tech

by Simas

Haven’t all of us at some point wondered how the infamous Facebook algorithm works? A new European law could finally make Big Tech reveal its secrets. Enter the DSA or the Digital Services Act – the latest in the European Union’s tech regulations with possible ripple effects for users in the U.S.

The EU member states have agreed to new laws that could force companies like Facebook and Google to reveal their algorithms. While the DSA provisions are comprehensive, here are some significant highlights:

Forced Transparency

The new law forces companies to be transparent about how algorithms work. Once passed, the law could impact targeted ads and moderation, among other things.

Users Can Appeal Content-Moderation

This one is for anyone on the receiving end of a post arbitrarily taken down by Facebook. The platform typically justifies these decisions basis their community standards. But let’s face it – those standards are often ambiguous. Users can appeal Facebook’s decisions to remove content or posts.

Changes to Targeted Advertising

Once the bill passes, Big Tech companies can no longer offer targeted ads based on ethnicity, sexuality, or religion.

How Does This Affect Me?

While a European law, it would serve Big Tech companies well to adopt the DSA provisions everywhere. Wishful thinking, probably. But the alternative otherwise is creating different rules for specific regions – a massive undertaking in time and energy spent. As users, we can take heart in some historical precedents.

In 2018, the U.S. adopted several provisions under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – a revolutionary law curbing how companies use and store consumers’ data. Of course, it could go either way. There have also been times when companies implemented personal data regulations only for a specific region.

Regardless of which route we take state-side, the DSA will be a game-changer for Big Tech companies and how our social feeds may look in the future.

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