MEP Alex Agius Saliba welcomes the new digital rules in the European Union

Alex Agius Saliba

Last Updated on Tuesday, 5 July, 2022 at 1:45 pm by Andre Camilleri

MEP Alex Agius Saliba welcomed the adoption of the new landmark EU digital rules in the final vote on the new Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA) during the European Parliament’s Plenary Session on 5 July 2022. The new laws will regulate the digital space and oblige online companies to protect users from illegal content, increase accountability, and limit the market power of tech giants. 

Agius Saliba, the S&D Group Vice-President on strong digital Europe for all, stressed during his speech at the plenary in Strasbourg that the DSA and the DMA are first-of-its-kind, unique instruments to regulate the big tech.

“With today’s vote, Europe has become the champion and the shaper of a Better Global Digital World. No one is untouchable. The new rules are the first step to finally move away from a purely advertisement-centric and surveillance business model to rules focussing on people’s interest in accessing and sharing high-quality content and information,” said the MEP. 

As the rapporteur for the Internal Market Committee’s initial report on the Digital Services Act adopted back in 2020, MEP Agius Saliba stressed that the new laws would force the tech giants to play fair, end their abuse of power and empower people to take control of the information they wish to read, watch and share. 

“At the beginning of the mandate, in my own initiative report on the DSA, we have laid down the key principles to be included in the DSA and DMA. We have asked for the first time to have the principle of what is illegal offline to be illegal online, and now this features prominently in the legislation. We have pushed to end surveillance of our citizens and create a digital environment built on trust, choice, and a high level of protection for all consumers, citizens, and SMEs. Now we have measures on transparency and accountability of algorithms and dark patterns,” said the Labour MEP.

Other suggestions from MEP Agius Saliba’s report incorporated in the new digital rules are the Know Your Business Customer “KYBC”, the introduction of stricter standards on harmful advertising practices and protection of minors, micro-targeting, recommended systems for advertisement, and preferential treatment. Companies established outside the EU targeting the European markets, consumers, and citizens should also comply with the DSA and the DMA.

“More than ever, in the wake of fighting the disinformation war, Europe will need the democratic tolls to regulate user safety, protect consumers, and prevent abuses and surveillance of users. I am glad that I had the opportunity to be involved in this process from the very beginning, helping to shape the fundamental principles,safeguarding transparency and accountability of digital services and making the internet a safer space for people,” said MEP Alex Agius Saliba.

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