With the Europen Union's landmark Digital Services Act (DSA) now in effect, Google, which runs many platforms under the law's scanner, will soon begin retrofitting its operations to comply with the law, the company announced in a blog post earlier this week. While claiming that its business practices have long been in line with DSA objectives—a claim that some EU privacy and antitrust regulators may disagree with—Google also highlighted the potential downsides of enhanced transparency. "We have long been aligned with the broad goals of the DSA and have devoted significant resources into tailoring our programs to meet its specific requirements," observed VP of Trust and Safety Laura Richardson, and VP of YouTube Product Management Jennifer Flannery O'Connor in the post. "We have also expressed our concerns about potential unintended consequences, 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." Among other things, the DSA aims to set an "unprecedented new standard for the accountability of online platforms regarding illegal and harmful content". It includes measures to counter illegal services, goods, and content online, to empower users and civil society, and to assess and mitigate risks. "Very Large Online Platforms" (including the likes of Google Maps, Snapchat, and TikTok) have enhanced obligations under the Act given their outsized impact on the Internet. These range from better protecting minors, to being more transparent on why users are being recommended content, to improving public…
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