06 Oct, 2020

Digital services: new rules needed to protect user rights

In view of the European Commission's forthcoming adoption of the Digital Services Act, the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee has approved a report on adapting commercial and civil law rules for digital platforms.

The rules for moderation and implementation of the ‘notice and action’ principle must be harmonised at the European level, according to the MEPs. Based on Renew Europe’s proposals, users must also have the possibility of independent dispute settlement and the right to an effective judicial remedy. In order to ensure that the new rules are correctly applied by operators, the elected representatives call on the Commission to consider the establishment of a European oversight body, either a new or existing agency or a network of national authorities, which will also have the power to impose financial penalties.

The report also calls for a strict framework for targeted advertisement. This practice must not be intrusive or linked to the history of user consultations. Finally, it must be conditional on the informed and explicit consent of the user.

Throughout the discussion with the other political groups, Renew Europe defended the principles aiming at protecting users’ privacy, informed consent and fundamental rights.

This legislative initiative report will be submitted to the vote of the second plenary session in October 2020.

Renew Spokesperson on the Digital Services Act, Karen Melchior said:

“I'm quite happy with the outcome of this report, as we send a clear message to the Commission that we value transparency and protection of users' rights above all. With this report, we emphasise the existing commercial and civil law rules, notably as regards the general monitoring ban for hosting platforms, the country-of-origin principle, as well as the importance of data protection and the protection of other fundamental rights online and offline. We expect the Commission to establish strict rules for digital platforms, in order to protect users from abusive, targeted and non-transparent measures.”

“I look forward to a balanced Commission proposal that will take the JURI report into account, and for the regulation to be put into place as soon as possible.”

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