Regulatory standards for online platforms

On 20 October 2020 the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) called on the Commission to propose a solution for the problems of the digital space in the upcoming legislative package on digital services. This is also necessary as the EU directive on digital services have remained almost unchanged since the adoption of the e-commerce directive 20 years ago. The MEPs set four guiding principles to make the directive up to date.

First, there is a desire among MEPs for stricter rules when dealing with illegal online content. A mandatory - so-called "report-to-action" - procedure should be set up to allow users to notify potentially illegal online content and activities to online hosts or content providers and intermediaries. In addition, a common goal is to attain a safer internet for consumers. The European Parliament would like to set the main direction for digital services legislation, based on the principle of "what is illegal offline is also illegal online", as well as consumer protection and user safety. Furthermore, to protect the user experience from targeted ads, online platforms should rant greater user control over algorithms. MEPs would give users more rights to choose what they want to see online, giving them more control over how the algorithms work. Targeted ads should be better squeezed in favour of less intrusive, contextual ads that do not require as much data and do not build on previous user reactions to content. Finally, the key issue is the fundamental rights relating to the online space. The European Parliament also pointed out that all messages, used to exploit human weaknesses is as much a problem as the spreading of hate speech and disinformation, and therefore MEP’s require a strict transparency in the revenue-generating policies of online platforms.