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Google updates service policies to comply with EU regulations

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Google plans to update some of its service policies in order to comply with the European Digital Services Act (DSA) according to a blog post on Aug. 24. 

The BigTech giant says it has made “significant investments” in various areas in order to comply with the European Union’s DSA’s specific requirements.

It plans to expand its Ads Transparency Center, expand reachers’ access to data, expand its transparency research, add more visibility for content moderation, create a new Transparency Center for its policies and conduct more in-depth risk analysis.

The post also expressed that Google has voiced concerns about the potential “unintended consequences of some of these measures:

“… such as the risk of making it easier for bad actors to abuse our services and spread harmful misinformation by providing too much information about our enforcement approach.”

The intention of the EU’s DSA was to consolidate content regulations across the region and form more specific processes for content moderation online. It also categorized 17 online platforms as very large online platforms (VLOPs) and 2 as very large online search engines (VLOSEs).

General requirements for sites in these categories include prevention and removal of illegal posts and a way to report them, targeted advertising being banned based on a user’s sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity or political beliefs, targeted ads to children being restricted and data sharing with researchers and authorities, among others. 

Related: Google upgrades search engine with AI-powered enhancements

The VLOPs included: Alibaba AliExpress, Amazon Store, Apple AppStore, Booking.com Facebook, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Shopping, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube and Wikipedia and Zalando.

The two VLOSEs it categorized were Bing Search and Google Search.

All the platforms mentioned in these categories had until Aug. 28 to meet the obligations of the DSA. Google called its updates “compliance at scale.”

TikTok, also mentioned by the DSA as a VLOP, also released a statement on Aug. 4 saying it also prepared for the measures. It added a new way to report illegal content, gave more information on its content moderation methods, made its recommendation system more transparent and updated its ad policy for teens. 

Users took to Reddit to discuss the upcoming implementation of the DSA. Some praised the regulations for being something that is “needed” to keep BigTech in line, while others said these policies limit free speech. 

In the middle ground, one user argued that it’s “too early to make a fair judgment.”

Despite these updates pointing towards a more safe internet, on Aug. 21 Google took to its blog to respond to accusations of ads tracking data of children, which were published in a lengthy report.

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