After several years of debate and intense, final negotiations lasting into the night, EU legislators reached a political agreement on the proposed Digital Services Act (DSA). DSA will regulate digital services that act as intermediaries – online platforms like social media and marketplaces – and their role of connecting consumers with goods, services, and content.
According to official press releases outlining the contours of the agreement, these services will have to take measures to protect their users from illegal content, goods and services. This includes transparent advertising and rules to mitigate disinformation. In short, what is illegal offline is also illegal online – a principal Creative Commons (CC) fully endorses.
Creative Commons will carefully study the details of the agreement once published but by way of initial reaction, we applaud the EU in its desire to become a first-mover in seeking to create a regulatory and legislative framework that both enables technology firms to operate whilst at the same time protecting end-users’ fundamental rights.
Speaking of the deal, CC’s CEO Catherine Stihler said:
“I’d like to pay tribute to Commissioners Vestager and Breton, to the French Presidency and to my former colleague Christel Schaldemose for their hard work and dedication in delivering this landmark piece of legislation.”
Creative Commons particularly welcomes elements of the proposal such as enhanced accountability, greater transparency and the grounding of the legislation in fundamental values and rights such as freedom of expression and data protection.
“Ensuring citizens are protected from disinformation and manipulation when accessing online information, goods and services is of primordial importance if we are to ensure trust in the technologies and digital companies that play an ever-larger part in our lives” said Catherine.
CC particularly welcomes the zero tolerance stance on cyber-violence and the prohibition on the use of sensitive, personal data in online advertising.
The DSA is an important and significant step towards combating some of the societal challenges linked to an increasingly digitalized world. CC will continue to monitor these developments and support public interest technologies whose values are citizen centered.