Deal on EU tech rules possible by June, key lawmaker says – Reuters

European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium May 5, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
STRASBOURG, Feb 14 (Reuters) – European Union lawmakers and countries could reach a deal by the end of June on proposed tech rules forcing online platforms to better police the internet despite differences in their approach, the lawmaker steering the negotiations said on Monday.
The Digital Services Act (DSA) proposed by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager forces Inc , Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) unit Google and Facebook owner Meta (FB.O) to do more to tackle illegal content on their platforms or face fines up to 6% of global turnover.
The first of its kind in the world, Vestager's proposal needs to be agreed by EU countries and lawmakers before it can become law.
"I am optimistic we can make a deal before the end of June," lawmaker Christel Schaldemose said in an interview.
Her comments came ahead of talks with French Digital Affairs Minister Cedric O and EU industry chief Thierry Breton on Tuesday, their second meeting on the issue. A third is scheduled for March 15.
Schaldemose said lawmakers want to expand the scope of what online platforms have to do, ban dark patterns which mislead people into giving personal data to companies online, and continue to let companies be regulated where they are based.
"We go into the business models of platforms. The Council is not so willing to go that far," she said, citing the divergence on dark patterns.
"The Council wants the ban only for online marketplaces. Parliament wants a ban on all platforms."
Schaldemose said countries like Ireland, where Apple, Facebook and Google have their European headquarters, and Luxembourg, where Amazon is based, should continue to supervise the companies in line with the "country of origin" principle.
"We stick closer to the country of origin principle than the Council," she said, adding that the European Commission could also have a say, while EU countries want a bigger role for the EU executive.
EU lawmakers also want a ban on targeted advertising for minors and also that based on sensitive data like sexual or political orientation in order to comply with the bloc's privacy rules, while EU countries collectively have a less strict position.
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