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(Pocket-lint) - The European Union has passed two bills designed to force Big Tech companies to be more responsible and accountable online.

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA) will come into effect from 1 January 2024 (starting with the DSA) and firms like Meta, Google and Apple will have to comply with some wide-reaching operational changes should they wish to continue to offer their products and services in EU member states.

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The DMA is designed to allow smaller companies to better compete with Big Tech through legislation, such as demanding larger firms make their platforms more interoperable with smaller rivals. Messaging platforms, for example, will have to better work with each other, with WhatsApp, Fscebook Messenger, Snapchat and such like having to allow smaller chat platforms the option to integrate on a software level more than they do currently.

It also demands that brands currently operating app stores must allow developers and other third-parties to offer customers deals outside of the apps themselves.

As for the DSA, the bill requires more action when it comes to moderation of services. This will certainly affect Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms that want to continue to operate in Europe.

In addition, some targeted advertising is outlawed, while others must be better controlled. The use of personal data for targeted ads is also no longer allowed under the act.

The penalties for breaching the new regulations can be massive. The EU can levy fines of up to 10 per cent of the firm's worldwide turnover for the previous 12 months. That can rise to 20 per cent for repeated non-compliance.

As the UK is no longer part of the EU, neither the DMA or DSA resulations are applicable here. However, as with the US, it is likely the restrictions will have global impact on the various companies involved.

Writing by Rik Henderson.
  • Via: European Union passes landmark laws to rein in big tech - engadget.com
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