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EU approves new legislation to regulate Apple, Meta, Google, and other big tech firms

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA) have been rolled into legislation in which the EU will regulate major tech firms.

Image via European Union
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Throughout the last few years, the European Union has been moving closer and closer to passing legislation to better regulate major tech companies such as Apple, Meta, and Google. That time has finally come. The EU has passed a “Digital Services Package,” which will roll several legislative proposals into one major rulebook aimed at regulating big tech firms like Apple, Meta, and Google.

The EU announced the passage of the Digital Services Package via a press release on July 5, 2022. The Package rolls two major legislative proposals into one: the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act, which were proposed to the EU Commission and Parliament as far back as 2020. The rolling of these acts into one legislative package establishes a new rulebook of regulations which will directly target major technology companies such as Apple, Meta (formerly known as Facebook), Google, and further groups. Particularly, it will include privacy and user data protections, as well as regulations in relation to anti-trust and anti-competitive practices.

The Digital Services Package passed by the EU particularly targets privacy and collection of user data, a matter of contention for Facebook company Meta. [Image via Meta]
The Digital Services Package passed by the EU particularly targets privacy and collection of user data, a matter of contention for Facebook company Meta. [Image via Meta]

Very specifically, here are some of the sectors the Digital Services Package affect, as reported by MacRumors:

  • Allow users to install apps from third-party app stores and sideload directly from the internet.
  • Allow developers to offer third-party payment systems in apps and promote offers outside the gatekeeper's platforms.
  • Allow developers to integrate their apps and digital services directly with those belonging to a gatekeeper. This includes making messaging, voice-calling, and video-calling services interoperable with third-party services upon request.
  • Give developers access to any hardware feature, such as "near-field communication technology, secure elements and processors, authentication mechanisms, and the software used to control those technologies."
  • Ensure that all apps are uninstallable and give users the ability to unsubscribe from core platform services under similar conditions to subscription.
  • Give users the option to change the default voice assistant to a third-party option.
  • Share data and metrics with developers and competitors, including marketing and advertising performance data.
  • Set up an independent "compliance function" group to monitor its compliance with EU legislation with an independent senior manager and sufficient authority, resources, and access to management.
  • Inform the European Commission of their mergers and acquisitions.

With this major move, the European Commission has established a major move to regulate the tech industry harder than ever before. As we see the Digital Services Package move into effect, it will be interesting to see how major tech industries respond. Stay tuned for further updates on this topic as they become available.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
    • reply
      July 5, 2022 11:40 AM

      This seems like a highly significant set of regulations on core platform functionality and business models. The US government's paralysis by design has meant that the US is basically on the sidelines defining the laws of the internet and instead Europe is setting the terms for consumers in all western countries.

      • reply
        July 5, 2022 11:49 AM

        That’s probably a good thing for the rest of us.

        • reply
          July 5, 2022 12:09 PM

          It certainly may happen to be a net win by luck but it's just bad for US citizens that their government is sitting on their hands as the internet evolves. The EU is far from perfect here but at least they are acting. Their previous efforts at regulation have come with all sorts of negative effects too (ex GDPR). This set is not a slam dunk either. For instance:

          Allow developers to integrate their apps and digital services directly with those belonging to a gatekeeper. This includes making messaging, voice-calling, and video-calling services interoperable with third-party services upon request.

          How do I make iMessage interoperable with Google Chat and maintain end to end encryption (you don't)?

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