News Update


EU safety regulations are beginning to bite TikTok, Instagram, and others.

Some of the largest technology companies and search engines must now comply with new EU rules aimed to protect users.

Rulebreakers may face large fines under the EU Digital Services Act (DSA).

Nineteen key platforms, including Facebook and TikTok, are subject to the most strict regulations, which include putting plans in place to safeguard children and prevent election interference.

Many have made modifications, some of which will have an impact on UK users.

While the UK Online Safety Bill is currently being debated in parliament, the EU’s Digital Services Act will become law on November 16, 2022.

However, corporations were given time to ensure that their systems were compliant.

On April 25, the commission announced the extremely large online platforms – those with more than 45 million EU users – that would be subject to the strictest regulations. Alibaba, AliExpress, Amazon Store, Apple App Store, Booking.com, Facebook, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Shopping, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, X (previously Twitter), Wikipedia, YouTube, and Zalando are among them. The rules will also apply to Google and Bing search engines.

They have four months to comply with the terms of the statute. Smaller IT providers will not be required to comply until next year.

Breach of the contract could result in a 6% punishment and the service being suspended.

The DSA includes additional standards for these massive platforms and search engines. They must examine possible risks they may cause, disclose their findings, and implement corrective steps. This covers dangers such as:

Illegal content rights include freedom of expression, media freedom, discrimination, consumer protection, and children’s rights, as well as public security and dangers to electoral processes, gender-based violence, public health, minors’ protection, and mental and physical well-being.
Targeted advertising based on kid profiling is no longer allowed.

They must also reveal facts about how their algorithms work with regulators. These could include those that determine which advertisements people view or which posts show in their feed. They must also have processes in place to share data with independent researchers.

Organizations have emphasized their efforts to comply in blog posts and remarks to the BBC. TikTok and Meta both stated that over 1,000 workers throughout their firms had worked to comply with the laws.

Many people have already made modifications. Several focus on personalized advertisements and feeds, such as:

TikTok has stopped showing tailored advertising based on online activity to individuals aged 13-17 in Europe since July.
Meta apps, such as Facebook and Instagram, have stopped giving users aged 13-17 worldwide ads based on their app usage since February.
In Europe, Facebook and Instagram users could browse Stories and Reels from individuals they follow in chronological order.
Snapchat is also prohibiting customized adverts for users aged 13-17 in the United Kingdom and Europe. It is also compiling a library of European advertisements.
There were also promises to provide academics additional data: Google committed to expand data access for people who want to learn more about how Google Search, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Play, and Shopping work.

When approached by the BBC, some have yet to identify the modifications they have made. X, formerly known as Twitter, simply stated that it was “on track” to achieve its regulatory deadlines.

Zalando and Amazon have filed legal proceedings to challenge their classification as a very large online platform. Amazon claims that it is not the largest retailer in any of the EU nations in which it operates.

Nonetheless, Amazon has taken steps to comply with the act, including the establishment of “a new channel for submitting notices against suspected illegal products and content.” Zalando informed the BBC that it will comply with the statute.

Wikipedia has made some modifications in reaction to the DSA, but the Foundation that runs the project believes they should not have an impact on users’ daily lives. It contends that the DSA’s approach to regulation is preferable than the approach of the internet safety bill. It has stated that certain of the requirements in UK legislation would be difficult to meet.

The Wikimedia Foundation’s legal counsel, Phil Bradley-Schmieg, told the BBC, “Our hope is that lawmakers emulate the DSA; understand the diverse internet ecosystem; and protect safe, free, and public projects online.”


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