Mozilla reacts to publication of draft Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act

The European Commission has just published its landmark Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA). These new draft laws have the potential to transform regulation in the tech sector and we’re happy to see the Commission take on board many of our earlier recommendations for the laws.

Reacting to the DSA and DMA publications, Raegan MacDonald, Mozilla’s Head of Public Policy, said:

Today the European Commission published the long-awaited Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA). We’ve been involved in the development of these laws for a number of years now, and are encouraged that many of our recommendations for how the Commission could seize a one-in-a-generation opportunity have been taken on board. While we’re still processing the details of the two draft laws, here we give our first reactions to the two groundbreaking proposals.

The DSA’s transparency requirements are a major step forward, particularly its call for disclosure of all advertisements. We’ve consistently said that to better address illegal and harmful content online we need meaningful transparency into how these problems are spreading through the online advertising ecosystem. Importantly, the Commission’s proposal follows the recommendation of us and a number of other advocates that these disclosure obligations ought to apply to all advertisements. We look forward to defining the precise operation of these disclosure mechanisms (we already have a lot of thoughts on that). The Commission’s proposal also seeks to bring more transparency to automated content curation (e.g. recommender systems like Facebook News Feed). This is again another issue we’ve long been active on, and our ongoing YouTube Regrets campaign is a case-in-point of the need for more transparency in this space.

We’re likewise encouraged to see the DSA take a progressive and thoughtful approach to content responsibility. The focus on procedural accountability – working to make firms responsible for assessing and mitigating the risks that misuse of their services may pose – aligns with our vision of a next generation EU regulatory standard that addresses the factors holding back the internet from what it could be. Again, there will be much work required to fill in the legislative detail on this procedural accountability vision, and we’re motivated to build on our recent work (see here and here) when the legislative proposal moves to the mark-up stage.

Last but not least, the Digital Markets Act (DMA). We’re still looking closely at what it means in terms of competition and innovation. However, at this early stage it appears the Commission has laid the groundwork for an ambitious new standard that could enhance consumer choice and the ability of smaller companies to thrive. A vibrant and open internet depends on interoperability, open standards, and opportunities for a diversity of market participants and we look forward to engaging with the next steps.