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Google updates service policies to comply with EU regulations


Google plans to update some of its service policies to comply with the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA), according to an Aug. 24 blog post. 

The Big Tech giant said it had made “significant investments” in various areas to comply with the DSA’s specific requirements.

It plans to expand its Ads Transparency Center, researchers’ access to data and its transparency research; add more visibility for content moderation; create a new Transparency Center for its policies; and conduct more in-depth risk analysis.

The post also expressed that Google has voiced concerns about the “potential unintended consequences” of some of these measures:

“Such as the risk of making it easier for bad actors to abuse our services and spread harmful misinformation by providing too much information about our enforcement approach.”

The EU’s DSA intends to consolidate content regulations across the region and form more specific processes for content moderation online. It also categorized 17 online platforms as “very large online platforms” (VLOPs) and two as “very large online search engines” (VLOSEs).

General requirements for sites in these categories include preventing and removing illegal posts and offering a way to report them; banning targeted advertising based on a user’s sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity or political beliefs; restricting targeted ads to children; and sharing data with researchers and authorities.

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The VLOPs include Alibaba’s AliExpress, Amazon Store, Apple’s AppStore, Booking.com, Facebook, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Shopping, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia and Zalando.

The two VLOSEs were Bing Search and Google Search.

All the platforms mentioned in these categories had until Aug. 28 to meet the obligations of the DSA. Google called its updates “compliance at scale.”

TikTok also released a statement on Aug. 4 saying it had prepared for the measures. It said it added a new way to report illegal content, gave more information on its content moderation methods, made its recommendation system more transparent and updated its ad policy for teens. 

Users took to Reddit to discuss the upcoming implementation of the DSA. Some praised the regulations as “needed” to keep Big Tech in line, while others said the policies limit free speech. 

Taking the middle ground, one user argued it’s “too early to make a fair judgment.”

Despite these efforts to make the internet safer, Google took to its blog on Aug. 21 to respond to accusations that ads were tracking the data of children, an allegation published in a lengthy report.

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