DMA & DSA? What impact do they have on your business?
The European Union is preparing new laws that heavily impact companies’ digital strategy. These are the DMA (Digital Markets Act) and the DSA (Digital Services Act) acts. Although big tech companies such as Meta, Google, and Apple will feel the most significant impact, the smaller companies will need to be vigilant in approaching their digital customers.
The European parliament has already approved these act proposals, so now it’s up to the 27 member states to support them and include them in their national laws.
Digital Markets Act
This act focuses on a new concept called “Gatekeepers”. These companies have over 45 million users, over 10.000 B2B clients, and over €6.5 billion yearly revenue. These are companies that control a large portion of digital communication and services. In summary, Big Tech. These “Gatekeepers” will get additional responsibilities.
First of all, users should have the ability to switch from one chat service to another easily. You should be able to send, for example, iMessages to a Whatsapp user and vice versa. A “Gatekeeper” may not force a user to use a specific app because most of his friends use it.
Secondly, these big companies will no longer be allowed to share data between different services that they offer. For example, Meta would no longer be allowed to transfer data between Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram. Privacy-wise, this makes total sense. But we also fear it might impact certain services we grew to love. For example, imagine you do a Google search for “Digital Unity”. Google offers you a link to Google Maps with a suggestion on how to drive to our office. They even already create a route from your location or your home address. This interconnectivity of Google Apps might not be possible anymore in the future. Especially the extensive user profiles Google creates to give you personalized search results or advertisements. The act forces Big Tech to offer you opt-in and opt-out options for personalized services and advertising.
Lastly, Big Tech will no longer be allowed to push their products on their platforms. For example, Apple put its apps on top of the App Store or Google installing Chrome by default on Android devices. The act will thus also solve any bloatware. In addition, you will be allowed to uninstall any default app on your mobile device.
Digital Services Act
Another notable act would be that platforms need to be transparent on their algorithm why they push certain content. For example, a news website that sends personalized notifications will need to explain that you receive a lot of sports articles because they assume it matches your interest based on your historical readings.
Dark Patterns are tricks used in websites and apps that make you do things you didn’t mean to, like buying or signing up for something. They force you to subconsciously click the specific call-to-action button that the website or apps want you to. An easy example would be making one button larger than the other. The pop-up in the example below strongly motivates you to leave your email address to send you a targeted newsletter.
The DSA will also forbid any Dark Patterns. Digital Unity has already updated its Cookie Bar to give the accept and deny cookie buttons the same layout!