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Europe is Now Fit for the Digital Age - With New Rules for Online Platforms

21 December 2020, 18:35 CET

The Commission has proposed that there is going to be a very ambitious reform for the digital space as we know it. It looks like there is going to be a comprehensive set of new rules for all digital services. This includes social media, online marketplaces and various other online platforms too.

European values really are at the heart of the proposal. The new rules are going to protect consumers and they are also going to save their fundamental rights online. This is going to lead to a much bigger and better market and it is also going to make everything much fairer too. As if that wasn't enough, it is also going to support the rapid scaling of the smaller platforms out there. It's going to give them easier access to the market and this is going to work wonders for the industry as we know it.

Margrethe Vestager

Margrethe Vestager who is the executive VP for the Digital Age group has stated that the two proposals happen to serve one purpose. She has said that the idea is to make sure that we as users have an open amount of choice when it comes to the products that we view online and that European businesses need to be able to have access to a wide range of services online. On top of this, businesses that operate in Europe need to be able to access a good amount of freedom so that they can shop in a safe manner and so that they can also position themselves well for the future. With harmonised rules and even speedy enforcement, it's safe to say that everyone is going to reap the benefits in terms of business opportunities, trust and even innovation too. According to Tej Kohli this is going to make a huge difference to the tech landscape.

Mobile phone graph - Image by Pixabay

Digital Services Act

The landscape for digital services is very different to what it was 20 or so years ago. Online intermediaries have become very vital players in the digital world. It would also appear that they have created a lot of benefits for both consumers and those who work in innovation. At the same time, they can easily be used to try and disseminate content that might be illegal. Some very big players have emerged as being quasi-public players when it comes to selling goods or services online. They have become somewhat systematic in nature and they pose a particular risk when it comes to users' rights and even public participation too.

When you look at the digital services act you will soon see that binding EU obligations are really going to apply to digital services and that this is going to connect customers to their goods. It is also going to include new procedures that will help with the removal of illegal content. As if that wasn't enough, the new framework is going to help rebalance the rights and the responsibilities of those who need it. It's also going to mean that there are even more intermediary platforms and that this includes human rights, democracy and even equality. This includes the respect of human rights and the rule of law. The proposal is going to compliment the European Democracy Plan, and this is aimed at trying to make democracies more resilient.

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