A new EU law imposing stricter online regulation comes into effect on Wednesday and the biggest platforms like Facebook and Google will have until February 17 to reveal their user numbers.
The Digital Services Act (DSA) rules will be fully applied 12 months later from February 17, 2024, but officials will need time next year to decide which tech giants are big enough to need close observation.
The DSA was designed to combat online hate speech, disinformation and piracy, in Europe at a time when much of the internet content seen by EU citizens is controlled by US-based companies.
Under the new law, all social media platforms, online market places and search engines will be obliged to react more quickly to remove content deemed in breach of EU regulations.
This will include measures to limit the use of sensitive private data in targeting ads at European users and will insist on more transparency for the algorithms that suggest content.
But the new rules will come into effect earlier for what Brussels calls Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) and Very Large Online Search Engines (VLOSEs) — those with more than 45 million active users in the EU. Khaleej Times