EU New Law Will Ensure That Tech Platforms Explain Their Algorithm

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The EU has agreed on the general terms of the Digital Services Act (DSA). The rule will force technology companies to take more responsibility for the content that appears on their platforms.

Although the final text of the DSA isn’t available, some of the obligations contained in the DSA include: the prohibition of targeted advertising based on a person’s religion, sexual orientation or ethnic origin; the prohibition of targeted advertising for minors; and the prohibition of confusing or misleading user interfaces aimed at persuading users to make certain choices.

Large online platforms will make the functioning of their recommender algorithms transparent to users, hosting services must explain the reason for the removal of illegal content and allow users to appeal against such takeovers.

Others include the provision of key data to researchers, the requirement that online marketplaces store basic information about traders on their platforms to track down individuals selling illegal goods or services, and the requirement that large platforms adopt new strategies to deal with misinformation during a crisis.

Although the law only applies to EU citizens, there are indications that the effects of these laws could be felt in other parts of the world.

The sources for this piece include an article in TheVerge.

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