The European Commission (EK) has approved a list of 19 “large internet platforms” subject to stricter user protection and rights rules from August onwards. The decision will affect the most significant global internet platforms, such as Google, Facebook, and Apple. The platforms were selected based on reaching at least 45 million active users per month.
This list includes the most popular services and networks, such as Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Alibaba. The companies will have to pay more attention to user privacy and strictly address illegal content and disinformation. Their obligation will be to inform users why they are recommending specific posts and give people the ability to report illegal posts.
The changes also affect targeted advertising for children, personal data, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and political beliefs. Platforms must have tools to effectively combat the publication of illegal posts and analyze whether disinformation is being spread.
The European bloc adopted rules regulating the Internet operation last year to strengthen oversight of the virtual world, improve user rights compliance, and limit the influence of the largest companies. Companies on the new list, published for the first time on Tuesday, must demonstrate how they regularly fulfill their obligations.
If they do not comply with the rules, they face fines of up to six percent of their global annual turnover. The new rules must be incorporated into their services no later than August. The list of companies subject to the laws may still grow. If an internet platform is included on it, operators must ensure that their service meets all EK regulations within four months. Otherwise, these large companies will face fines and sanctions.
The new rules are part of the EU’s efforts to tighten tech industry regulation and protect its citizens. The European Commission has been concerned about online hate speech, disinformation, and the impact of social media on children. With these rules, the EU seeks to limit the power of tech giants and give users more control over their data and online experiences.