A Digital Law for the EU: European Parliament Votes for Strong Digital Services Act (DSA)

Brussels, 20.01.22. On Thursday, January 20, the European Parliament approved the proposal for the Digital Services Act (DSA). MEP Manuela Ripa is positive, because especially consumers and minors will be more protected on the net in the future.

The Digital Services Act (DSA) stands for a fairer Internet with less power in the hands of individual large tech giants. The legislative proposal is the EU’s response to the fact that large online platforms – such as Meta, Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft – increasingly control the digital ecosystem. “I am very pleased that users will have more clearly defined rights online. Among other things, I have campaigned for changes that affect the use of personal data: Consumers should not be disadvantaged if they refuse to provide their data. Alternative ways of accessing online platforms must be created, such as the option of tracking-free advertising,” explains Manuela Ripa.

In the future, online platforms should also ensure that users can decide quickly and easily whether or not they wish to consent to the processing of their personal data for advertising purposes. Refusing consent must not be more difficult or time-consuming than giving consent.

Particularly important to Ripa was better protection of minors online. The proposed legislation on digital services prohibits targeting techniques that process or disclose personal data of minors for advertising purposes. “The fact that the European Parliament will now push for a total ban on profile-based surveillance advertising for children and young people in the upcoming negotiations with the Council and the European Commission is a great success for my group,” explains the MEP.

The Digital Services Act could also have made an important contribution to animal welfare. However, amendments that would have contributed to better protection of pets sold online unfortunately did not make it into the legislative proposal. These included, for example, a requirement that online platforms only offer micro-chipped and registered animals that come from registered dealers. “I am deeply disappointed that the illegal trade in animals continues not to be recognized as a Europe-wide problem. A strong legislative proposal would not only have benefited the animals and saved a lot of animal suffering, but also public health! Recently, there have been repeated worrying reports about an increase in zoonoses such as rabies, which is deadly for humans and animals,” concludes Manuela Ripa.