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DEFEND OUR DIGITAL RIGHTS
The Digital Services Act is coming. What will it mean for you?
The European Parliament has voted on a new law for online services, known as the Digital Services Act. Alexandra Geese MEP talks us through some of the problems of the digital age and what the Greens/EFA are doing to protect our fundamental rights.
European Parliament votes on constitution for the internet
The European Parliament voted to determine its position on the Digital Services Act (DSA), after which the trilogue negotiations with the European Commission and Council will begin. The Greens/EFA have long campaigned for a fairer internet with less power in the hands of tech giants. The DSA is the EU’s answer to the fact that a few large online platforms (such as Meta, Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft) control the digital ecosystem. The DSA will become the new framework for online services for the EU on how to deal with hate speech, disinformation, platform oversight, reporting procedures and surveillance-based advertising.
Do you always “accept all cookies”? Did you know you actually don’t have to? Cookies help companies collect your data. But they are just one part of a whole web of online manipulation...
When you visit a website or use apps, you are being monitored. Everything you watch, click and like online is tracked. Algorithms combine all this data to figure out who you are, what you're interested in or worried about… And this data is being used to advertise products and services to you. This is called surveillance-based advertising.It all sounds creepy, because it is!
But there is something we can do about it. First step: inform yourself and your friends. Our website helps you to understand how you're manipulated into giving away your data.
The future of online advertising
Our digital world today is recording and tracking user’s every move, creating detailed profiles of users to show them relevant adverts targeted at their interests. It has not always been this way in the online world. This report explores concerns surrounding the practice of tracking-based advertising today and examines in detail the most significant trends in the adtech market
WE WANT A DEMOCRATIC INTERNET!
The internet has given people the chance to connect to each other, express themselves online and gain access to knowledge and information at the click of a button. We want to make sure the internet is a democratic space where people feel safe and able to share content freely.
However, EU laws regulating the internet have not been updated in 20 years, and some big tech companies have come to dominate the online sphere, taking control over what people say and who gets to read it.
The European Commission recently presented the Digital Services Act (DSA) - EU legislation that will set new rules for digital services and market-dominant companies like Facebook, Google, and co., so now we have a unique opportunity to start fixing some of the societal problems that big tech is causing today. These new rules will shape the internet for years to come and may well end up setting a new global standard.
REFORMING THE RULES
Online communications have the immense potential to allow everyone to have a voice, mobilise, and connect globally. Still, they can also pose a real threat to our democracies and our economies, if the internet is dominated by just a few conglomerates.
The DSA presents an opportunity for us to build a better internet, which is democratic and safe and where profit interests do not control public debate. We need to make sure illegal content is taken offline, while our freedom of expression is properly protected. The DSA will enable us to take the power over our fundamental rights out of the hands of large companies and into the hands of the people and our democratic institutions.
Stay informed about our work on Digital Rights
OUR SOLUTIONS FOR A DEMOCRATIC INTERNET
The Internet should be human-centred and any future rules need to protect fundamental rights. In practice, that means :
- Putting rights and freedoms at the heart of the Digital Services Act: We need to ensure that content and redress mechanisms are available on all platforms. This introduces legal certainty and increases the accountability of service providers towards their users.
- Stopping automated censorship: Automated content filters cannot guarantee the protection of users. We need to reject content moderation procedures based on automated tools or upload-filtering of content as this risks disproportionately blocking people’s freedom of expression.
- Ending surveillance capitalism: tech platforms have built their business models on advertising, more specifically on the accumulation of massive amounts of personal data which they sell off to the highest bidder. We introduced text in the DSA reports calling for a ban on behavioural advertising and micro-targeting. This is necessary to allow users to regain control over their data, to ensure the independence of the press from the giant online gatekeepers and to protect free and fair elections.
- Diversifying the online ecosystem and guaranteeing user choice: It is our goal that users shall be able to communicate with each other across different services (e.g. messaging services, social networks), rather than always be locked in to using one dominant platform.
- Addressing the business model of big platforms, which contributes to spreading problematic and illegal content: The spread of illegal content should be contained by introducing a tiered transparency model and giving users control over content proposed to them.
Did you or your community experience any unjustified or wrongful removal of your posts, accounts, ads on any online platform? Act, now! Share your examples here.
We want to call out social media censorship and violations of freedom of expression online. We are gathering examples of cases where legitimate speech got blocked, removed or deprioritised. Report content and account take-downs.