EU sends “Information Request” to 17 tech companies including Google, Apple, Microsft, Meta and LinkedIn

The European Commission has sent information requests to 17 major tech companies, marking a significant step in enforcing the bloc’s landmark Digital Services Act (DSA). These requests, sent on January 18th, 2024, target Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) and search engines, aiming to shed light on their internal practices and compliance with the DSA’s regulations.

EU said it had contacted Amazon, Apple, Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, AliExpress, Amazon Store, Apple AppStore, Booking.com, Alphabet’s Google Search, Google Play, Google Maps and Google Shopping, Microsoft’s LinkedIn and Bing, Pinterest, Snapchat, ByteDance’s TikTok, YouTube and Zalando.

The EU Commission is seeking comprehensive information on several key areas, including:

  • Content moderation policies and procedures: How platforms remove illegal content, address disinformation, and combat hate speech.
  • Transparency and accountability mechanisms: How users are informed about platform decisions and provided with avenues for appeal.
  • Data-sharing practices and user access: How platforms collect, use, and share user data, and how users can access and control their data.
  • Algorithm usage and potential risks: How platforms utilize algorithms in areas like content ranking and user recommendation, and the potential risks associated with bias or discrimination.

This information request marks a pivotal moment in the enforcement of the DSA, which came into effect in November 2023. The legislation aims to create a safer and fairer online environment by holding large tech platforms accountable for their actions.

By scrutinizing their internal practices and compliance with the DSA’s provisions, the EU Commission hopes to gain valuable insights into how effectively these platforms are implementing the regulations. This information could pave the way for further targeted interventions or enforcement actions if necessary.

The tech giants have been given until February 9th, 2024 to respond to the requests. Their responses will be closely scrutinized by the EU Commission and could have significant implications for their ongoing operations within the European Union.

This move sends a clear message that the EU is serious about regulating the tech sector and ensuring a more responsible and accountable online environment for its citizens.

Recall that @Temmy.Net, we reported that “the EU antitrust Chief, Vestager to hold high-level tech meetings with CEOs in US. All these for the sack of regulating the sector and ensuring safer data for the EU nationals.

The outcome of this information request and the subsequent actions taken by the EU Commission will be closely watched by policymakers, industry players, and users worldwide.

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