In one of the much-awaited legislation that may change the future course of online content for the global technology giants, the lead committee in the European Parliament passed measures slapping restrictions on BigTech companies on the way content was handled so far.
The new restrictions would curtail tech companies from targeting ads to minors and completely ban so-called ‘dark patterns', where platforms push people to consent to being tracked online. Another controversial amendment passed that would require anyone who uploads content on porn sites to register.
The proposals would add restrictions to the Digital Services Act, a measure advanced by the European Commission last year to regulate online content by requiring illegal posts to be taken down and make information about algorithms available to researchers.
The new rules, which are likely to come into force from 2023 face difficult negotiations at the start of next year with EU countries and the commission that could cause delays.
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen told the European Parliament in November that the Digital Services Act has the potential to become the “global gold standard” to hold giant internet companies accountable.
Monday's proposal still needs to get sign-off from the full European Parliament in January, when it will likely face a push for a complete ban on targeted advertising. Then lawmakers will need to negotiate with the European Commission and EU countries, both of which proposed less stringent rules.
The parliament on Tuesday will sign off on the Digital Markets Act, new rules that would rein the anti-competitive behavior of big tech companies, with some parliamentarians pushing last-minute measures against killer acquisitions.