The consumer protection against possible fraudulent behavior of digital companies is one of the priorities of the European Union. During 2022, the European Commission has legislated to ensure that the fundamental rights of users are fulfilled. Something necessary considering that, according to an INCIBE study, more than 70% of the people who connected to the internet suffered at least one malware action.
In this sense, the European Union approved the Digital Services Lawwhich entered into force in November 2022, with which it intends to “create a safe digital space for users and establish a level playing field for companies” in the words of the European Commission. This law will be mandatory as of May 2023. From that moment on, the Internet giants, also called gatekeepers, must attend to any demand for illegal content, by an individual or a company, in relation to the elimination of false or illegal content. “The fundamental concept of this law is that what is illegal in the real world must also be illegal in the virtual one”summarize sources from Anovo, a company specialized in technological after-sales services.
According to Anovo, “This law seeks to deal with behaviors by digital companies such as the sale of fake products, with the user as the main beneficiary of this decree”. The European Commission focuses on the large platforms or search engines, with more than 45 million visits per month.
The European Union may require these platforms to take immediate action to resolve any issues. In addition, the users themselves may claim compensation for the damages caused by the infringement of this law. One of the biggest novelties is that the Internet giants may be fined up to 6% of global billing or with the temporary suspension of the service, in the most serious cases.
The DSA will require these large companies to comply with much stricter regulations than previously existed. Anovo experts reveal the four most important points contained in this law:
Greater transparency in algorithms
The European Union has coined a new term called “Algorithmic Responsibility”, through which they will be able to access the operation of the algorithms of each of the platforms. Not only government agencies, but also individuals, will have the right to know under which rules they receive certain advertising, with the aim of achieving greater clarity and transparency in the digital world.
Control mechanisms will be strengthened to verify that e-commerces that offer products and services online have reliable and truthful information for consumers. Among other things, with this the European Union intends to stop the purchase of counterfeit products over the Internet, whether intentional or based on fraud, which represents 60% of seizures at EU customs, according to a study by the EUIPO and the OECD.
The Digital Services Law will oblige digital platforms to enable a warning-action mechanism, where users can report illegal content. Once the content has been reported, companies will have the obligation to notify the user of the decision and quickly remove the content that is considered illegal. This point is one of those that has caused the most controversy, since some sectors consider it a censorship of freedom of expression.
Data protection to limit advertising
Personalized advertising will be limited in favor of giving users more control over their own data. With this premise, the use of information about religion, sexual orientation or ideology to target online ads will be prohibited. Deceptive techniques that seek to attract users to purchase products or services, the so-called dark patterns, such as hidden banners or the implementation of expensive processes to unsubscribe from a platform, will also be prohibited.