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Digital Services Act no game-changer: Industry and government interests prevailed

European Parliament Freedom, democracy and transparency Press releases

Today, one day ahead of the final approval, the European Parliament debated the EU Digital Services Act (DSA) establishing new rules for online platforms. Patrick Breyer MEP, who participated in the negotiations as rapporteur for the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, delivered the following speech:

Mr President

On behalf of my civil liberties committee, let me be honest to our citizens:

We tried to make the Digital Services Act a game-changer and overcome the surveillance capitalist business model of pervasive tracking online but failed. We failed to provide you with alternatives to toxic platform algorithms that will push the most controversial and extreme content to the top of your timelines. And we failed to protect legal content, including media content, from being overblocked by error-prone upload filters or arbitrarily set platform rules.

But before industry and governments – consistently supported by the Commission – celebrate too quickly, I have a message to them: There is more legislation coming up, such as on political advertising and ePrivacy. We‘ll fight all the harder against surveillance advertising, we will fight for a do not track button in every device, we will fight a right to encryption, and we will fight against indiscriminate data retention.

Defending fundamental rights in the digital age is a marathon, not a sprint – you‘ll see!