EU – EDPS publishes opinions on European Commission’s proposals for a Digital Services Act and a Digital Markets Act

Nigel Parker

On 10 February 2021, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) published its opinions on the European Commission’s proposals for a Digital Services Act and a Digital Markets Act. The EDPS welcomes both legislative proposals and provides detailed recommendations to ensure that both proposals complement the GDPR and increase protection for fundamental rights in the EU.

In its opinion on the Digital Services Act, the EDPS recommends measures to better protect individuals against online targeted advertising and content moderation used by online platforms (such as online marketplaces and social media platforms). The EDPS highlights that European legislators should consider:

  • including additional safeguards in relation to content moderation, online advertising and recommender systems, for instance, by prohibiting profiling for the purposes of content moderation, unless strictly necessary to address the systemic risks explicitly identified by the DSA;
  • prohibiting targeted advertising that is based on pervasive tracking;
  • imposing restrictions on categories of data that can be processed for the purposes of targeted advertising or disclosed to advertisers and third parties; and
  • introducing minimum interoperability requirements for very large online platforms and to promote the development of technical standards at EU level.

In its opinion on the Digital Markets Act, the EDPS highlights that competition, consumer, and data protection laws are closely related policy areas in the online sphere and consequently should be complementary. The opinion recommends that co-legislators should:

  • require gatekeepers to provide end-users with easy and accessible consent management solutions;
  • clarify the scope of the data portability obligations;
  • provide for effective anonymisation and re-identification tests when sharing query, click and view data generated by end-users on online search engines of the gatekeeper.

The press release is available here, the opinion on the Digital Services Act here, and the opinion on the Digital Markets Act here.