Big Tech faces a 6 percent fine if they violate new EU content rules

Big tech companies like Google and Facebook are fined up to six percent of sales for stopping to combat illegal content and learn more about advertising on their platforms in accordance with draft EU rules.

The EU’s hard line, due to be announced next week, takes place amid growing global regulatory scrutiny of tech giants and their control over data and access to their platforms.

EU digital chief Thierry Breton, who has stressed that big companies should have more responsibility, will present the draft regulation known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) on December 15th.

The Commission’s document on the DSA, viewed by Reuters, defines very large online platforms as those with more than 45 million users, which corresponds to 10 percent of the EU population.

Additional obligations imposed on very large platforms are needed to address public policy concerns and the systemic risks of their services, the document says.

Tech giants need to do more to address illegal content such as hate speech and child sexual abuse material, abuse of their platforms that undermines fundamental rights, and deliberate manipulation of platforms such as the use of bots to influence elections and public health, to fight.

Businesses need to publish details of their online advertisers and display the parameters used by their algorithms to propose and rank information. Independent auditors monitor compliance, with EU countries enforcing the rules.

Facebook declined to comment before the EU document was released. Google said it had nothing to add at this point.

The draft rules could take a year or more to enter into force as they have to take into account feedback from EU countries and the European Parliament, both of which are expected to be subject to intense lobbying.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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