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EU Legal Affairs Committee wants Digital Services Act to end surveillance capitalism and AI censorship

EU Legal Affairs Committee wants Digital Services Act to end surveillance capitalism and AI censorship

The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee yesterday adopted, on proposal by rapporteur Patrick Breyer (Pirate Party, Greens/EFA group), probably the most ambitious agenda for the upcoming Digital Services Act to date:

To prevent data misuse and identity theft, citizens shall be given the right to use internet services anonymously. The permanent recording of our digital life shall come to an end. Authorities are only to be allowed to obtain user metadata with a court order.

Quasi-monopolists such as Facebook or Twitter shall allow exchanging messages with alternative platforms in order to enable switching platforms while maintaining existing contacts (interconnectivity). In order to curb the unwanted pushing of questionable content by platforms, users shall have a right to disable the platforms’ recommendation algorithms and use non-commercial content curating services instead. Finally, in order to protect freedom of expression, upload filter obligations, as recently allowed by the European Court of Justice, shall be explicitly excluded because of the unreliability of AI filters.

The opinion will now be sent to the Internal Market Committee.

Patrick Breyer comments:

“I am pleased that the Committee on Legal Affairs is so clearly committed to the protection of our privacy, the free exchange of information on the Internet and users’ freedom of choice. The ball is now in the court of the EU Commission. To fix the Internet Europe needs to enforce freedom of expression instead of accepting censorship machines, privacy instead of surveillance capitalism and self-determination instead of technological paternalism!”

The Digital Services Act has fundamental effects on the future of digital services and online platforms

The upcoming Digital Services Act (DSA) is considered the next major project to regulate digitisation at EU level, after the general data protection regulation (GDPR) and the proposed ePrivacy Regulation. The legislative project is intended to replace the e-commerce directive, which has been in force since 2000, and thus establish fundamentally new rules for commercial Internet services.

Full-text of the opinion adopted yesterday by the Legal Affairs Committee

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