Europe’s digital commissioner, Thierry Breton, is on a mission to ensure that top management at Meta and Twitter are aware of the upcoming European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA). During his two-day trip to California, Breton will meet with tech giants, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, to push a new Commission initiative called the AI Pact. The AI Pact is a voluntary, non-binding commitment of tech firms to adhere to certain principles when developing AI technologies.
Breton is responsible for overseeing EU services regulating Big Tech and has described himself to POLITICO as “the enforcer,” representing “the will of the state and the people.” As of August, the DSA law will require major tech platforms to tackle online hate speech, illegal content, and disinformation. The Artificial Intelligence Act, an upcoming law that will come into force in 2025 or 2026, will create requirements of transparency, security, and human oversight for AI tools considered “high-risk.”
Breton’s trip serves as a reminder to tech industry giants about the EU’s new rules, as they will have to comply with them. Breton is on a mission to ensure that companies operating in Europe, including US firms, stick to the new rules on AI, online platforms, and data, everywhere in Europe. The stakes are high for companies that fail to comply with the regulations. Potential fines of up to 6 percent of a company’s global revenues could be on the line for non-compliance.
Breton is also pushing for “stress tests” to assess how prepared tech companies are for the new regulations. Twitter has already agreed to let Commission officials check how prepared they currently are with the DSA. Over a dozen large tech companies, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, will have to respect new legal obligations to crack down on things like disinformation, cyberbullying, and threats to public health and safety by the fall.
By the end of August, very large online platforms (with over 45 million users in the EU) will have to submit a first detailed assessment of their major risks for users to the Commission. The European Commission could start investigations into firms that aren’t complying, and Breton is firing a last warning shot at Silicon Valley titans ahead of the incoming rules to police social media platforms.
The tech industry is about to face a new era of regulation, and it’s clear that the EU is leading the way. Breton’s trip to California is a signal that the EU is serious about enforcing its new rules on tech companies. Companies that fail to comply with the new regulations could face significant fines, and investigations could be launched into firms that aren’t complying.
Breton is making it clear that the EU will not tolerate non-compliance. Companies will need to invest in new technologies and develop new policies to ensure that they are in compliance with the new rules. The AI Pact is one of the new initiatives that tech companies will need to adhere to in the coming years. The pact is voluntary, but it is a sign that companies are willing to work with the EU to ensure that they are in compliance with the new regulations.
In conclusion, Breton’s trip to California serves as a reminder to the tech industry that the EU is serious about enforcing its new rules. The DSA and the Artificial Intelligence Act are just two of the new regulations that tech companies will need to navigate in the coming years. Companies that fail to comply with the new regulations could face significant fines, and investigations could be launched into firms that aren’t complying. The tech industry is facing a new era of regulation, and it’s clear that the EU is leading the way. It’s a crucial time for tech companies to ensure they are doing all they can to comply with these new regulations.