The European Parliament supports the proposal to ban certain targeted advertisements

The European Parliament has approved the initial Digital Services Act (DSA) bill which aims to prevent big tech companies from using sensitive data for targeting purposes and to ensure that they are held liable for illegal content on their platforms.

The project was approved last week with 530 MPs voting in favor of the proposal, 78 against and 80 abstentions.

The DSA would prohibit digital platforms from using sensitive information, such as religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation in targeted advertisements.

In addition, the European Parliament adopted an amendment prohibiting advertising targeting minors, based on any of their personal data.

Another amendment would require online platforms to ensure that users who have opted out of being tracked can still access their services. This means that a platform like Instagram cannot force users to be followed to view posts on its app.

The project also aims to pressure platforms to remove illegal content and products online and to prevent the spread of misinformation.

In 2020, the European Commission presented two legislative proposals as part of a major attempt to overhaul the digital space and regulate big tech companies.

The proposals – the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA) – will apply to all digital services, including online marketplaces, social media and other online platforms operating in the EU.

The main aim of the rules is to “better protect consumers and their fundamental rights online”, according to the European Commission, which hopes the regulations will create a level playing field and lead to “fairer and more open” digital markets. In the region.

In November, a key committee of European lawmakers voted to approve the Digital Markets Bill (DMA) measures, which could impact advertising giants such as Facebook and Google.

The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) said the DMA proposal will prohibit ‘gatekeepers’ from using personal data to deliver targeted and micro-targeted advertisements unless there is a “clear, explicit, renewed and informed” consent. In addition, the personal data of minors may under no circumstances be processed for commercial purposes.

IMCO defines a “gatekeeper” as a large business that offers “basic platform services” – including online intermediation, online advertising, search engines, social media, operating systems , cloud computing and video sharing – in at least three EU countries.

“Today’s vote shows that MEPs and European citizens want ambitious and future-proof digital regulation,” said Christel Schaldemose (S&D, DK), who leads the Parliament’s negotiating team.

Schaldemose believes that digital platforms not only offer “new opportunities”, but also present “new risks”. It is therefore the duty of lawmakers to ensure that “what is illegal offline” also remains “illegal online”.

“We have to make sure that we have digital rules in place for the benefit of consumers and citizens. We can now start negotiations with the Council, and I think we will be able to act on these issues,” she said. added.

Despite the favorable vote, the DSAs still come up against several obstacles, such as the negotiations with the European Council which will begin on 31st January.

The final rules on DSAs and DMAs are expected to come into effect as early as 2023.

On Tuesday, U.S. lawmakers also introduced a bill containing identical provisions prohibiting digital platforms and data brokers from using sensitive data to serve targeted ads.


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