Frances Haugen told MEPs the EU’s digital law could be ‘the global gold standard’

Speaking to the European Parliament yesterday, Haugen hailed the digital services bill as a key opportunity to “safeguard democracy”.

The EU’s proposed Digital Services Act (DSA), which would see tech giants held accountable for content on their platforms, has been described by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen as a potential ‘global gold standard’ that can inspire other countries.

Haugen said the DSA could push countries like the United States to establish similar rules that “protect our democracies.” However, she warned that the law must be strong and firmly enforced so as not to “lose this unique opportunity.”

In a interview with CBS 60 Minutes Former Facebook product manager last month was revealed to be the source of thousands of corporate document leaks and claimed profit trumps public good on biggest social media platform in the world.

Echoing some of the revelations she made in the interview, Haugen told MEPs yesterday (November 8) that Facebook management knows how to make Instagram safer but won’t do it to save profits, “damaging to the health and safety “of adolescents and the general population. community.

EU plans for big tech

The common goal of the DSA and the Digital Markets Act (DMA) which will be debated by MEPs later this month is to change the way digital content is categorized, advertised, moderated and deleted in order to curb the monopoly that large multinationals hold in the digital space – pitting tech companies against European lawmakers.

In May, Facebook called on the Irish government to delay the introduction of new online safety rules that could conflict with the DSA, while Apple CEO Tim Cook called on the DMA in June not to be in the “best interests of the user”.

At yesterday’s hearing, organized by the European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, lawmakers asked Haugen a host of questions regarding the regulation of illegal and harmful content, the moderation tools of content and targeted advertising ban.

In his responses, Haugen stressed the importance of ensuring that companies such as Facebook publicly disclose the data and how it is collected to enable people to make transparent decisions and to ban “dark models” by line. She added that individuals, not committees, should be held accountable for decisions made.

“Let me be very clear. Every modern disinformation campaign will exploit news channels on digital platforms by playing with the system, ”Haugen told MEPs in his opening statement. “If the DSA prohibits platforms from addressing these issues, we risk undermining the effectiveness of the law. “

Warning against flaws

In terms of tackling disinformation and demoting harmful content, Haugen said Facebook is significantly less transparent than other platforms and could do a lot more to make algorithms safer. “Hardly anyone outside of Facebook knows what’s going on inside Facebook,” she said.

“Company management maintains vital information from the public, the US government, its shareholders and governments around the world. Haugen also praised EU lawmakers for their content neutral approach, but warned of possible loopholes and exemptions.

The European Parliament will now discuss how the current DSA package, presented by the European Commission, can be changed and improved – Haugen’s comments fueling the work ahead of the vote.

Patrick Breyer, Civil Liberties Committee rapporteur for the DSA, said yesterday’s Haugen hearing revealed the EU’s reluctance to regain control of the digital sphere, especially in light of the Facebook’s recent focus on the metaverse.

“Haugen warns that Facebook’s virtual reality shots and accompanying building sensors will dramatically increase the threat of surveillance capitalism to our privacy. But the proposed European legislation does not guarantee us the right to anonymity and does not protect us against the collection and use of each of our actions to manipulate us.

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