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With the Digital Services Act, S&Ds put an end to tracking minors and their behaviour online for advertising purposes

Date

20 Jan 2022

Sections

InfoSociety

The Group of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament has improved consumer protection, put a stop on limitless gathering of data from consumers by the providers of digital services and opened the black box of algorithms, which many digital platforms use to abuse their clients’ data. All of this was made possible under the leadership of Christel Schaldemose, the European Parliament’s negotiator on the Digital Services Act (DSA) and S&D member in the committee on internal market and consumer protection. The DSA is EU legislation, proposed by the European Commission to the European Parliament and the Member States of the EU. It is meant to entirely update the current EU rules for digital services, which date back to the year 2000.

 Christel Schaldemose MEP, the European Parliament’s negotiator on the DSA and member of the S&D Group, said:
 
“The S&D Group have set the new gold standard for digital regulation, not just in Europe but around the world, with the Digital Services Act. It is stunning that in a world driven more and more by digital services the current rules date back 22 years. With the DSA we are going to take a stand against the Wild West the digital world has turned into, set the rules in the interests of consumers and users, not just of Big Tech companies and finally make the things that are illegal offline illegal online too.

“I am happy and proud that my colleagues and I from the Socialists and Democrats Group were those who opened the black box of algorithms. Whistle-blowers like Frances Haugen gave us alarming testimonies on how social media companies don't care about the way they abuse these algorithms. As a result, division is promoted within our society and recommender systems have destroyed the self-esteem of many young people. These are just a couple of examples of things we have to stop. And now we are stopping it with the Digital Services Act.

 “First, we propose that consumers and users should be able to access intermediary services through a single point of contact. It will give social media users a better chance of getting in touch with the services if their content is removed or their account is blocked. At the same time, it will give consumers who have unknowingly bought an illegal or dangerous product online the opportunity to get in contact with the online marketplace and not just an automated chatbot.

“Second, we demand that online marketplaces do more to protect consumers from illegal products. They must quickly and effectively remove the illegal products and reach out to the consumers who purchased the products in question before they were removed from the marketplace.

“Third, we introduce a right to seek compensation directly from the platforms for both consumers and businesses if the platform does not comply with the provisions of the DSA. This is a significant improvement for all users of these platforms.

“We, the Socialist and Democrats, are particularly proud of the level of protection we reached for our children. From now on, companies will no longer be able to harvest data from minors for commercial purposes.

“One of the other main achievements our political group achieved for consumers is the ban on so-called "dark patterns", which push consumers into choosing certain options. Providers of digital services should stop designing dialogue boxes to influence users’ choices on accepting cookies or not.” 

Christel Schaldemose will lead the negotiations with the Council under the French Presidency during the so-called trilogues. These trilogues are the discussions between the European Parliament and the member states of the European Union with the intermediary of the European Commission. The first trilogue is expected to start on 31 January 2022.

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