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EU: Parliament adopts legislative reports on upcoming Digital Services Act

The European Parliament announced, on 20 October 2020, announced that it had approved two separate legislative initiative reports calling on the European Commission to address and tackle current shortcomings in the online environment in its Digital Services Act ('DSA') package, due to be presented in December. In particular, the Parliament recalled that, with the upcoming package, the EU aims to shape the digital economy at the EU level, as well as setting the standards for the rest of the world, as it did with data protection. In addition, the Parliament outlined in its reports that all digital service providers established in third countries must adhere to the DSA's rules when their services are also aimed at consumers or users in the EU.

Moreover, the Parliament called on the Commission to provide users with more control over what they see online, including being able to opt out of content curation altogether, and to make them less dependent on algorithms. In this regard, the Parliament highlighted that targeted advertising must be regulated more strictly in favour of less intrusive, contextualised forms of advertising that require less data and do not depend on previous user interaction with content. On the same point, the Parliament also called on the Commission to further assess options for regulating targeted advertising, including a phase-out leading to a ban. Furthermore, the Parliament noted that the upcoming DSA should also provide for the right to use digital services anonymously whenever possible. Finally, the Parliament stated that, in order to ensure compliance with the new rules, the Commission should assess options for setting up a European entity to monitor and impose fines.

In addition, the Parliament adopted a third, non-legislative resolution, which focuses on fundamental rights issues, calling for content removal to be diligent, proportionate, and non-discriminatory in order to safeguard freedom of expression and information, as well as privacy and data protection.

You can read the press release here, the report on the improvment of the functioning of the Single Market here, the report on adapting commercial and civil law rules for commercial entities operating online here, and the report on fundamental rights issues posed by the DSA here.