AIG Newsletter 4 April 2022
Update on latest DSA trilogue negotiation
On 31 March, the latest round of trilogue negotiations on the DSA was held between EU institutions. Lead negotiators discussed several issues, including enforcement, dark patterns, online advertising, recommender systems and SME exemptions. During this discussion, the co-legislators agreed ‘in principle’ on a ban on using sensitive data for advertising purposes, as well as targeting advertising to minors. More information can be found here.
EP Rapporteur, Christel Schaldemose (S&D) stated the EP mandate was to protect people's rights, support democracy and ensure that all digital players act responsibly and safely. She noted that the Council agreed on these principles, but did not agree on all the solutions. However, Schaldemose was confident that an agreement could be found before the end of the French Presidency. The next trilogue was expected to be held on 27 April.
EU institutions find agreement on the Digital Markets Act (DMA)
On 24 March, representatives of the EP, Council and the Commission reached a political agreement on the DMA, which places clearly defined obligations and prohibitions on ‘gatekeepers’, whilst also creating an effective enforcement mechanism to ensure compliance. The political agreement reached by the EP and the Council is now subject to formal approval by the two co-legislators. Once adopted, the DMA will be directly applicable across the EU and will apply six months after entry into force. More information on the agreement can be found here.
EP ITRE debates French Presidency priorities with Cedric O
On 22 March, the EP ITRE Committee held an exchange of views with the French Minister of State, Cedric O, on the French Presidency's priorities. The Minister spoke about EU strategic autonomy in the digital sector and described the challenge of creating a strong regulatory framework through the Artificial Intelligence Act, the DSA, the DMA and the GDPR. He called for common rules that covered all participants in and outside of Europe, whilst allowing SMEs to grow. The Minister also acknowledged that the EU must further develop its cloud industry to compete with the US, whilst also continuing to protect EU citizens’ data.
Belgian DPA ("APD") decision on IAB Europe and the TCF: IAB Europe Submits Action Plan, key milestone in the process
Last week IAB Europe submitted its action plan required by the Belgian DPA APD’s decision on IAB Europe and the TCF. The action plan marks a key milestone in the two-phase remediation period and should enable a new version of the TCF to be rolled out over a 6-month period under the supervision of the APD. IAB Europe’s statement can be found here and its updated FAQ document can be found here.
Biden and von der Leyen find agreement ‘in principle’ on transatlantic data flows
On 25 March, Commission President von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden announced that they had found an agreement ‘in principle’ on a new framework for transatlantic data flows. Following the EU-US Privacy Shield being invalidated by the CJEU in July 2020, the agreement provides a legal framework for transferring personal data across the Atlantic.
To address the EU’s previous concerns, the US will commit to (i) put in place new safeguards to ensure that signals surveillance activities are necessary and proportionate in the pursuit of defined national security objectives; (ii) establish a two-level independent redress mechanism with binding authority to direct remedial measures; and (iii) enhance oversight of signals intelligence activities to ensure compliance with limitations on surveillance activities. These commitments will form the basis of the Commission's assessment in its future adequacy decision.
FREEDOM OF THE MEDIA
EP DROI discusses with Teresa Ribeiro, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media
On 28 March, the EP Committee on Human Rights (DROI) met to exchange views with OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Teresa Ribeiro, to discuss media freedom in Russia, which is believed to have deteriorated further since the invasion of Ukraine. Ms Ribeiro said that space for media freedom and civil society in Russia had now essentially shut down. She noted the introduction of criminal liability and imprisonment for the usage of the word ‘war’ led to the exodus of international media. Facebook and Instagram were also now banned as extremist organisations. In Europe, several MEPs welcomed the ban of organisations such as Russia Today and Sputnik, and many spoke in favour of protecting the right to receive accurate information.
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DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
20 April: Webinar on the new Copyright Directive, The European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency.
21 April: Symposium on Data Access, French Presidency
27 April: Skills in the digital world: a path towards inclusive transformation, European Internet Forum (EIF).