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Google faces new EU rules to curb illicit content

Alphabet’s unit Google and other major technology companies face new online rules set by the European Union. The latest order will force tech companies to take greater responsibility for the content that appears on their platforms.

On Saturday, EU countries and lawmakers agreed to approve the Digital Services Act (DSA). This legislation will require online sites to tackle illegal content or risk hefty fines.

Specifically, it will ban targeted advertising aimed at children or based on sensitive data such as religion and political opinions.

It is the second prong of the region’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager’s strategy to rein in Google, Meta, and other US tech giants.

Accordingly, new obligations include removing illegal content and goods more quickly. In addition, firms needed to explain how their algorithms work to users and researchers.

Moreover, internet firms must take stricter action on the spread of misinformation. Then, firms’ non-compliance will lead to fines of up to six percent of their annual turnover.

Initially, European lawmakers clinched a deal on landmark rules to curb the powers of Google and other big tech companies.

They prohibit the business from favoring their own services over rivals’ or preventing users from removing pre-installed software or apps.

The act will apply to companies with a market capitalization of $80.50 billion. It will also cover platforms with $8.05 billion in annual turnover and at least 45.00 million monthly users.

Meanwhile, Apple, which has lobbied intensively against the DMA, reiterated its worries. It stated that the act would create unnecessary privacy and security vulnerabilities for its users.

The iPhone maker also emphasized that the new rules prohibit the firm from charging for intellectual property.

Similarly, Google, which also cranked up its lobbying last year, echoed the same sentiments.

Google updates cookie consent banner

Last week, Google unveiled a new cookie consent popup on YouTube in France. The updated design comes after a French data watchdog fined the firm $163.00 million for breaching the country’s law.

According to authorities, the firm failed to comply with the current regulation on presenting tracking choices to users.

In line with this, the platform changed the choices at the bottom of the screen, offering three buttons. The two main toggles retain the same color, size, and shape. A new Deny All button lets you opt-out of tracking altogether with a single click.

This update also observes EU legislation that requires online services to obtain explicit consent from their users before processing data. In particular, permission must be specific and freely given.

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