The internet has transformed the world, ushering in a quantum leap in how people communicate and share information. It’s created a digital market that made huge gains by revolutionising the way people innovate, consume, communicate and access information.
But it’s also created a winner-takes-all dynamic where a few private companies act as gatekeepers and rule-makers, whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple or Amazon.
Left unchecked, it will hurt consumers like you and me in the long run.
That’s where the European Parliament is stepping in – with MEPs proposing radical legislation that will allow everyone to keep track of the ever-evolving digitisation of services.
So what are digital services?
Digital services refer to any service that is delivered over the internet that is generally automated and involves minimal human intervention, like online shopping, internet banking, social networks, music and movie streaming, for example.
It’s accelerated the digitisation of society and the economy, creating new opportunities for people across the world. But it’s also created a situation where a few large platforms control the digital economy. They’ve emerged as gatekeepers in digital markets, with the power to act as private rule-makers, all while the black market, hate speech and harmful online content thrive.
The concerns are easy to see. Beyond creating less choice for consumers and unfair conditions for business, digital services are also being exploited by manipulative algorithmic systems to amplify the spread of disinformation that threaten fundamental rights online.
The European Parliament has proposed landmark legislation with the Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act.
This might seem overwhelming and complex, but these resolutions are pretty easy to understand and help one another in getting one step ahead of the ever-evolving digital market.
Check out the video to learn more.
This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
What do you think of the issue?