EU’s watchdog backs proposed DMA and DSA laws to curb big tech

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On Wednesday, the European Union’s watchdog, EDPS, supported the region’s plan to curb the power held by US tech giants that include, Alphabet’s Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. The plan includes new tough rules and suggestions to include more safeguards to boost consumers’ privacy rights.

The bloc’s push to curb US tech giants was unveiled by EU Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager and EU industry chief Thierry Breton in December 2020. The rules come in two sets, known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The impact

DMA is targeted at online gatekeepers, who will be subject to a variety of rules. The gatekeepers will be obligated to share some data with rivals and regulators. They are also not supposed to favor their services on their platforms. The DSA is aimed at large online platforms like social media, to deal with illegal content and be more transparent about political advertising on their platforms.

DMA fines are severe and could be as much as 10% of the global revenue of a convicted company, whole DSA breaches could lead to fines as high as 6% of the global turnover of the company.

The EDPS welcomes the DMA proposal, in its aim to seek fairness and openness in markets and the processing of persona data.

Some way to go

The commends of the EDPS could encourage privacy advocates and lawmakers to take an even tougher stance on big US-based tech companies.

EDPS said that the gatekeepers need to provide an easy and accessible way for users to give consent or not, concerning how their data is used for other services. There should also be tests, to ensure that the personal data is kept completely anonymous.

The proposed rules need to be discussed by EU member states before it becomes law.