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Expert comment on new Digital Services Act

December 2020 by Chad McDonald, CISO at Digital.ai

Chad McDonald, CISO at Digital.ai comment on the new and ongoing EU Digital Services Act and how this will affect businesses around the world, particularly big tech giants:

“While originating in the EU, the outcomes on this act will span the globe. When the GDPR was created, it caused ripples around the world and spawned regional legislation outside of the EU. Tech titans like Google and Facebook have access to limitless amounts of personal data and likewise make very robust targets of these regulations and legislations act. We’ve seen Facebook and Twitter become not only treasure troves of personal data, but also tools used by governments and attackers alike to influence not only the pocketbook of the consumer, but also elections and public opinion about legislation or social topics. While I expect that the intent of tighter rules governing data usage by these powerhouses will come dressed as consumer protection, I suspect that the larger intent is to put guardrails around the ability of malicious nation states to wage social media war through manipulation of the underlying algorithms supporting organisations like Twitter, Facebook and TikTok.

The fines attached to the proposed rules are quite serious. At up to 10% of revenue, fines are certainly large enough to garner the attention of the cash-flush monoliths.

It will be interesting to see whether the Digital Marketing Act is actually implemented, and if so, how. Beyond simply the privacy protections underpinning the other legislation, this will be more problematic to implement. Simply sharing information about these algorithms provides an opportunity for manipulation. This could either drive innovation across smaller businesses or more likely provide a roadmap for nation states to continue their barrage of misinformation in hopes of causing disruption.”




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