Pirates celebrate wins in DMA, but industry interests prevail in DSA

Strasbourg, 05/07/2022 – Today, the European Parliament approves the final versions of both the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA). While new rules for navigating and competing in the digital world are long overdue, heavy lobbying by Big Tech led to an ultimately disappointing outcome of the Digital Services Act and a missed opportunity to protect our digital rights. Nevertheless, Pirate Party MEPs managed to prevent further attacks on our privacy online and even achieved significant successes in the Digital Markets Act, particularly with new interoperability obligations for platforms.

Marcel Kolaja MEP, Czech Pirate and Greens/EFA DMA Shadow Rapporteur, comments on the Digital Markets Act: 

“Thanks to our pressure, gatekeepers will need to make their messaging services interoperable for other providers free of charge. In practice, this means that alternative platforms will be able to enable users to send and receive messages, for example, to/from dominant platforms such as WhatsApp. Thanks to interoperability, users will finally be able to choose communication platforms based on their real needs. They will be able to easily move to more privacy-friendly services without fear of losing contact with their loved ones. I am truly happy about the negotiations’ outcome. Users really need to be in the center of this legislation and that is what I have been saying from the very beginning.”

Patrick Breyer MEP, German Pirate and Greens/EFA DSA Shadow Rapporteur to the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE), comments on the Digital Services Act:

“Despite all our efforts, the DSA unfortunately fails many times in protecting our privacy and freedom of expression online: The surveillance capitalist business model remains untouched at its core, the corporations’ toxic recommendation algorithms remain without alternative. Valuable legal content, including press reports, will continue to regularly fall victim to error-prone upload filters and cross-border deletion orders without a judge’s decision. The task now is to fight all the more passionately for digital civil rights in the negotiations that are still ongoing: in the ePrivacy negotiations, we must push for a right to encryption and a ‘do not track’ browser setting; in the regulation on political advertising, we must push for protection of our democracy from manipulative surveillance advertising à la Cambridge Analytica. 

“However, Pirates were able to prevent an even worse outcome. Thankfully, excessive national platform laws are a thing of the past with the DSA. Minors will be protected from surveillance advertising. The promised ban on using sensitive personality traits such as a user’s political opinion, illnesses or sexual preferences for manipulation and targeting of advertising was severely watered down after heavy industry lobbying. We were able to prevent the indiscriminate collection of the mobile phone numbers of all uploaders on adult platforms, which would have endangered the privacy of users and the safety of sex workers due to foreseeable data hacks and leaks. We were also able to prevent take down obligations for search engines and several other initiatives harmful to user rights.“

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