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European Union, digital regulation is advancing

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“Here we are at a very sensitive moment in the negotiations, and we will really do everything to reach an agreement! » Danish Socialist MEP Christel Schaldemose, who is negotiating, on behalf of the European Parliament, the text which aims to better regulate online platforms in Europe wants to be optimistic. A fifth round of talks on the Digital Services Act (DSA) is being held this Friday, April 22 in Brussels and has every chance of succeeding.

Since December, both the Parliament and the Council of the European Union (which brings together the 27 States) have formed their opinion on this regulation on digital services which must, in short, ensure that what is illegal offline is illegal. also online. But the two co-legislators still have to finish tuning their violins to regulate disinformation, hate speech or the sale of dangerous products.

→ INVESTIGATION. Despite the action of the lobbies, Europe decided to regulate the digital giants

Concretely, through this text, the EU intends to equip itself with new tools aimed at combating illegal goods, services or content online; to increase the traceability of companies found on online marketplaces; to impose more transparency for online platforms (for example regarding the algorithms they use); or to allow researchers to have better access to key data from the largest platforms.

Make the Internet “safer”

In this last straight line, a few stumbling blocks still remain to be overcome. If MEPs and States share the same ambition, namely that of making the Internet more ” safe “it is still necessary to agree on the methods to achieve this.

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Among the fifteen points that remain to be decided, there is in particular the fate to be reserved for targeted online advertising (it should eventually be prohibited if it targets minors) or fake interfaces (also known as dark patterns), which aim, for example, to encourage users to buy certain services or to accept certain settings such as files recording their browsing data.

→ THE FACTS. Europe seeks to better regulate targeted advertising online

According to concurring sources, the Council of the EU would be in favor of the idea of ​​tracking down these dark patterns on marketplaces (such as Amazon or eBay), while the European Parliament is campaigning not to be limited to these online services alone.

As for fines, they could reach 5% of the daily turnover of a digital company that does not comply with the new rules, or 6% of its annual sales in the event of repeated violations. “These sanctions seem important and bindingnotes Alexandre Lazarègue, lawyer specializing in digital law. However, those already provided for by the General Data Protection Regulation have not deterred these companies from massively collecting personal data. »

Effects, for the moment, uncertain

The effects of the adoption of the DSA remain, for the moment, uncertain. “We hope that the obligation for digital companies to be more transparent about the operation of algorithms, the referencing of information, will make it possible to engage them on their responsibility.continues Alexandre Lazarègue. I am not convinced that the DSA will succeed, since the directive maintains, for example, that the platforms are only “hosts”, and therefore not responsible for the content of the messages published there. If the regulation allows a form of updating of the law, it will remain difficult to question the responsibility of these very powerful behemoths. »

France has one of the most stringent laws in the EU against Gafam (the acronym for Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft). She discovered quite early on the difficulty of suing one or the other of these giants, being told that, for example, the French subsidiary of Google only dealt with marketing and could not be blamed for the activities of its parent company, making legal proceedings long and costly.

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→ READ. The European Union agrees to supervise digital giants more closely

The DSA would require digital providers to appoint a legal representative valid for the whole of the European Union, which could facilitate legal proceedings to tame digital companies. The European regulation could also inspire the United States, whose elected Democrats have also protested against the oligopolistic situation of companies in the sector.

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Elon Musk can afford to buy Twitter

Tesla boss Elon Musk said on Thursday April 21 that he had gathered the means to buy Twitter and said he had secured nearly 46.5 billion dollars (42.8 billion euros) to finance this transaction thanks to two loans and $21 billion taken from his personal fortune. The board of directors of the social network opposes this acquisition, motivated by the desire of billionaire Elon Musk to make the moderation of content posted online more transparent and much less severe.

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