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22 Dec 2020

EU Parliament adopts Digital Services Act overhauling European Internet regulations

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In December 2020, the European Commission released a long-anticipated draft of the Digital Services Act (DSA), the most significant reform of European Internet regulations in two decades.

The draft lays out new responsibilities and rules for how companies manage user content, and bears on principles including transparency, openness, and privacy.

Campaigners and civil society groups welcomed the proposal, but called for the draft law to be strengthened in some key respects, including reinforcing rules on online advertising, and on oversight and enforcement mechanisms.

On 13 January 2022, 65 investors representing over US$8.7 trillion (€7.6 trillion) in assets under management and advisement released a statement, coordinated by the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, calling for rights-respecting internet regulation including the DSA in the EU.

On 20 January 2022, MEPs in the European Parliament voted in favour of the Digital Services Act, and adopted the draft law following last-minute amendments to the initial proposal in the plenary vote. Changes adopted by the MEPs include: prohibition of advertising targeting minors, prohibition of the use of highly sensitive personal data for behavioural targeting of anyone, and a ban on manipulation or forcing consent with the use of personal data.

The draft will now process through five interinstitutional negotiations (trilogue), which are scheduled through the beginning of April 2022.

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