The European Union Expands its Digital Campaign to Shape a Secure Cyberworld

The European Union is working to expand its Digital Services Act to include vast spaces of the Internet, a new strict regulatory part imposing new rules on content supervision and online advertising.

As of February 17, the rules have begun to apply to all online platforms used by European Union users, as well as to 19 major online platforms and search engines, which were required to comply with the rules since last August.

This expansion means that the rules will extend to include thousands of online platforms and websites, through a series of strict requirements designed to ensure the safety of Internet users, including facilitating the reporting of harmful or illegal content, such as hate speech, in addition to banning advertisements targeting children, as well as reporting counterfeit or unsafe products.

The Associated Press Agency pointed out that only small services will be exempt, those employing fewer than 50 employees and having annual sales of less than $10.8 million.

Security and Transparency

The new rules include a ban on targeting minors with advertisements based on their personal data, and targeting anyone based on sensitive data, such as sexual preferences or religious beliefs. Regarding content supervision, sites will need to provide users with a reason when their content or account is monitored, and provide them with a means to complain and challenge the decision.

There are also rules about granting users the ability to report illegal goods and services, and informing users of the reason for removing their posts or suspending their account.

The rules also govern cloud services, requiring service providers to inform users of the presence of illegal content on their service.

Even intermediary services, such as Internet service providers, will have obligations such as producing transparency reports.

Under the new rules, users must be informed of the reason why a particular advertisement is presented to them and who paid for it. Although the Digital Services Act is still new, European Union regulators have the power to impose fines on companies of up to 6% of their global annual revenue for violating Digital Services Act rules, or even banning services as a last resort.

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