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Silicon Shockwave: EU digs deep into Tech Giants' secrets!

The European Commission, in a proactive move, has recently dispatched specific information requests to a comprehensive list of 17 prominent technology companies. This outreach is grounded in the regulatory framework provided by the EU Digital Services Act.

Among the recipients of these requests are major entities such as AliExpress, Amazon Store, AppStore, Booking, Facebook, Instagram, Google Search, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Shopping, LinkedIn, Bing, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, and Zalando.

The focal point of these inquiries is the obligation for each company to furnish detailed and concrete information by the stipulated deadline of February 9th. The requested information is centered around the measures that each company has undertaken to facilitate analysts' access to data of significant relevance.

Additionally, these tech giants are expected to disclose the comprehensive strategies they have in place to combat the proliferation of illegal content and the sale of illicit goods within the expansive realm of online commerce.

The legislative backdrop against which these inquiries are being made is the Digital Services Act (DSA), which became effective in November 2023. This legislation introduces a set of stringent obligations aimed primarily at very large internet platforms and search engines.

The overarching goal is to compel these entities to intensify their efforts in addressing illegal content and mitigating threats to public safety. The DSA introduces a comprehensive set of principles and obligations that are applicable to digital service providers, encompassing social platforms, online marketplaces, and other similar digital services.

At the core of the DSA is the imposition of greater responsibility on digital service providers. This responsibility manifests in the requirement to actively and efficiently remove harmful online content, spanning from misinformation and terrorist-related materials to content that incites hatred.

Beyond content moderation, the regulations outlined in the DSA aim to enhance the transparency of algorithms employed by online platforms. This transparency is intended to empower users with a clearer understanding of the mechanisms influencing the content that is presented to them.

In a broader context, the DSA also includes measures designed to reinforce the accountability of advertisers, particularly in the context of misinformation and manipulative practices. These proposed measures encompass a wide range of provisions, including but not limited to improved consumer protection for those engaging with online platforms. This entails the establishment of clearer rules governing various aspects such as advertising practices, product reviews, and the provision of services.

An important development worth highlighting is the initiation of the first investigation under the provisions of the DSA by the European Commission in December 2023. The target of this inquiry was Company X, and the suspicions raised pertain to potential breaches of the obligations set forth by the legislation. This investigation sets a precedent for the enforcement and scrutiny of the DSA within the regulatory landscape.


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