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First Moves by European Parliament on the DSA Show Important Focus on Human Rights

Today in the plenary session, the European Parliament adopted three reports on the topic of the Digital Services Act (DSA). The reports represent an important step forward in the debate over what the DSA will look like, receiving support by the majority of voters and indicating a strong interest in finding ways for European society to deal with the contemporary challenges linked to digital services. 

“We welcome the message sent by the European Parliament today that fundamental rights are high on its agenda as it finds its position on the Digital Services Act,” said Iverna McGowan, Director of the Center for Democracy & Technology’s (CDT) Europe Office, in response to today’s vote. “The Parliament is lending its support to crucial free expression safeguards such as recommending a binding notice-and-action framework, maintaining a ban on general monitoring of users, and calling to allow people to have stronger control over the use of their data.”

The rapporteurs are MEPs Alex Agius Saliba, Tiemo Wölken and Kris Peeters in the IMCO, JURI and LIBE committees, respectively. The first two reports were adopted as a “legislative initiative procedure”, meaning that the European Commission will need to take them into consideration in its forthcoming legislative DSA proposal. 

“The call for increased algorithmic transparency in all three reports is also important. It must be followed by careful consideration for how we ensure that those impacted by discrimination in algorithmic decision-making, who are all too often already at-risk groups, can enforce their rights,” McGowan highlighted.

“CDT welcomes the emphasis on the need to ensure against lock-in-effects that deprive people of a real choice to change from a given platform. We stress that people have the right to privacy and control of their data irrespective of which platform they are on. The EU will need an honest reflection on its ability to enforce current privacy laws and on where the gaps are in protection as the DSA process moves forward.”

Please view CDT’s blog post for a closer assessment of the European Parliament’s DSA reports. For CDT’s more detailed position on the DSA, please view the response to the Commission’s public consultation, or contact directly Iverna McGowan, Director of CDT’s Europe Office. For press inquiries, write us at [email protected].