The European Union is starting to change how online services work. Google, Apple and Facebook are introducing big changes

The European Union is starting to change how online services work. Google, Apple and Facebook are introducing big changes
The European Union is starting to change how online services work. Google, Apple and Facebook are introducing big changes

If you are at least slightly interested in the legislation that treats the functioning of the Internet, or large parts of it, you have undoubtedly come across the abbreviation DMA, or Digital Markets Act. It is a law of the European Union, translated into Czech as an act on digital markets, which, among other things, interferes with the functioning of the so-called gatekeepers, which are defined by the large operators of online services. They are so fundamental to the functioning of the Internet that the European Union wants to regulate them, which has resulted in a number of bizarre measures and restrictions on the comfort that the user could feel until now.

Google without maps and other services

Frequent Google users, used to finding a quick link to Google Maps in the search engine after querying a specific place, are already out of luck. Due to the need to comply with the individual regulations of the described act on digital markets on the territory of the European Union, the defined gatekeepers may not prioritize or favor their own operated services at the expense of the services or products of third parties. The definition may be a bit complicated, but the result is that searching for a direct query for a destination will no longer offer a link to the widely used Google Maps.

Even if you try to make the query more precise by giving the name of the mentioned service, it will not help that the link will be offered. Google or the company Alphabet, which owns it, apparently already wants to eliminate the possibility that the search results will be in violation of Article 6 of the described act on digital markets in advance, and has proceeded to the most drastic possible solution. And the problem can potentially occur with other services operated by Google at the same time, but also by third-party competitors.

Personal information is not for sale

However, the Digital Markets Act also affects the handling of personal data, for which all “gatekeepers” who, for example, offer some form of subscription to an account on social networks such as X (formerly Twitter), Instagram or Facebook, can potentially pay a premium. According to Article 5 of the Digital Markets Act, and specifically point 2, the gatekeeper may not process personal data of end users for the purpose of providing online advertising services. In other words, at the moment when the services in question promise you to turn off advertising for a subscription – that is, they regulate the provision of online advertising services – they are already acting against the mentioned regulation because they use your personal data to process the payment.

Read also: The European Union is stepping on the throats of the world’s largest companies. Apple and Meta face billions in fines

And there is another level that Apple, for example, is now solving. In the territory of the European Union, the operator of the iOS operating system – but this also applies to Android – must, for example, enable the operation of its own application stores or the use of payment methods other than those offered by the operator of the operating system. It is then up to the European Union to assess whether the mentioned operating systems meet the conditions or not, and whether a fine will be imposed. If so, it will be really high, because depending on the severity of the infringement, they can be up to 20 percent of the total worldwide turnover, which for example would mean having to pay up to $77 billion for Apple. So far, however, such high fines have not been imposed, and the question is how the European Union would approach these giants with set percentages.

Source: Google, European Union, CNBC, The Verge

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The article is in Czech

Tags: European Union starting change online services work Google Apple Facebook introducing big


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