Big tech expect more stringent rules

The EU is set to impose stricter rules on Alphabet’s Google, Facebook’s Meta Platforms and Twitter, following the publication of their monthly user figures, which exceeded the EU’s 45 million-user threshold. The Digital Services Act (DSA) defines these platforms as “very large” and makes them subject to increased obligations, including risk management, external and independent auditing, and data-sharing with authorities and researchers. The rules also require these firms to adopt a code of conduct. The online platforms have four months to comply with the regulations or face fines.

Twitter reported that it has 100.9 million average monthly users in the EU, while Alphabet offered two sets of numbers: one based on user accounts, and the other based on signed-out recipients. Google’s average monthly number of signed-in users reached 278.6 million at Google Maps, 274.6 million at Google Play, 332 million at Google Search, 74.9 million at Shopping, and 401.7 million at YouTube. Meta Platforms, on the other hand, revealed that it had 255 million average monthly active users on Facebook in the EU and approximately 250 million average monthly active users on Instagram in the last six months of 2022.

The European Commission had provided online platforms and search engines until 17 February to report their monthly active users. The new rules, which come under the Digital Services Act, class companies with more than 45 million users as “very large” online platforms. They have to comply with a range of responsibilities, including risk management and independent auditing, sharing data with authorities and adopting a code of conduct. If very large online platforms fail to follow the regulations, they face fines.

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