Since it was introduced to the public in 1993, the internet has changed society completely. Only 27 years later, it is almost impossible to imagine a life without it. And in an ever-changing world, the government needs to keep up as well. Rules and regulations about the internet are already instated, but the European Union is implementing stricter rules for internet companies. The drafts of these rules were already introduced in December 2021, and more regulations were composed in January 2022. But what are these rules exactly?
The European Union's new regulations are primarily for larger internet companies. The two laws could significantly influence the way tech giants are operating. The new rules are important to prevent misuse by the enterprises but also to protect them (NU.nl, 2022). In December, the Digital Markets Act (DMA) was discussed; this regulation wants to prevent large internet businesses from abusing their users and mainly applies to corporations like Google, Meta, and Apple. Moreover, the Digital Services Act (DSA) needs to ensure that social media like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube erase illegal or unwanted messages as soon as they are aware of them (NU.nl, 2022).
The European Parlament has already approved the DMA and DSA, but this does not make the law definite yet as the Council of the European Union also needs to agree with the terms. The council consists of ministers from 27 EU member states. It is expected for the new laws to be fully instated in a couple of months (NU.nl, 2022).
Human Rights Watch
The DMA and DSA will protect online consumers and assure an ethical way of practising e-business. Furthermore, the top of Digital Regulation will be more driven by Fundamental Rights. The Human Rights Watch (2022) even claims the new rules have the potential to protect human rights better online. However, they feel the European Union could go further with these regulations and plea for a more ambitious agenda with stronger safeguards against government abuse.
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