Tech Giants May Face Billions in Fines Under New EU Law

Tech Giants May Face Billions in Fines Under New EU Law in 2022

In the early hours of Saturday, EU lawmakers agreed that the world’s largest tech companies could face billions of dollars in fines for breaking EU law.

The failure of tech companies to combat illegal content on their platforms will now be identified by lawmakers under the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA). When the legislation takes effect in early 2024, noncompliance could result in a maximum penalty of 6% of their global sales.

According to reports from 2021, Amazon could face a theoretical fine of up to $28 billion, while Google could face a fine of up to $16 billion.

According to Frances Haugen, a Facebook whistleblower, the Digital Services Act could become a “global gold standard” for regulating social media platforms.

The key components of the Digital Services Act will include prohibiting the use of sensitive data in targeted ads such as religious or racial content, prohibiting the targeting of advertisements to minors, and prohibiting ‘dark patterns’ or tactics used to force people to consent to online tracking, and much more.

All websites will be required to follow the DSA’s rules. Platforms with more than 45 million users, on the other hand, will follow stricter rules and provide regulators with regular reports about illegal or harmful content on their websites.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, stated:

We contribute to creating a safe and accountable online environment through the DSA. We ensure that platforms are held responsible for the risks their services may pose to society and citizens with today’s agreement.

Google stated that it welcomed the DSA rules and that it planned to “work with policymakers to get the remaining technical details right to ensure the law works for everyone.”

The United Kingdom has also recently proposed the Online Safety Bill, which would subject executives who fail to comply to higher fines and possible jail time.

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