(9 September 2021) EPSU joined Amnesty, Corporate Europe Observatory, European Youth Forum, Transparency International and many other organisations demanding changes to the European Commission’s flagship proposal the Digital Services Act (DSA). We want changes to ensure Big Tech companies are not running the show. The group asks the European Parliament:
- To turn off the manipulation machine by which recommender systems and algorithms are amplifying hate speech and disinformation and to curtail surveillance to maximise “engagement”. It has become clear this is based on an unethical business model that entails systemic risks. The companies should be held accountable for the damage their model causes.
- To stop the surveillance for profit. Both the Digital Services Act and the Digital Market Act must put an end to surveillance advertising that people never asked for. Transparency on all aspects of online ads and enforcement of our data rights need to take an important place in these Acts.
- To put people back in charge. The DSA must create stronger powers for regulators to hold Big Tech to account, including through robust audit powers. The EU needs to learn the lessons of the failures of enforcement of the GDPR.
The proposals of the Commission are part of the way in which it promotes the Digital Decade. Other parts of the package include the Artificial Intelligence Act and the creation of e-Identity. For the future it will be crucial to promote public infrastructures and public solutions to avoid dependencies on private companies.
You can still join the group by signing up to the declaration. For the full People's Declaration.
For more background
- EPSU also joined the campaign to Ban on Biometric Surveillance
- ETUC position on DSA and DMA
- Study of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung on Digital Platforms as public services/ services of general interest (in German)
- European Commission on Digital Decade 2030
- Work of the European Parliament on these Acts