France has been strongly advocating EU for the implementation of stronger digital regulations in order to make big tech giant like Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon accountable and impose a check on their absolute power over content and their arbitrary behaviour. Last week, during the meeting between Cedric O, the French minister for the digital economy and Thierry Breton, the European commissioner in charge of the upcoming legislation, French official pressed that the new digital regulations should be adopted separately by each EU member nation.
During the recent interview with the Financial Times, Cedric O said, “We are getting pretty active in terms of talking to various people about the upcoming tech regulation. Getting these laws passed is a major objective of ours for when France next holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council next year.” He added: “They touch on vitally important subjects both for our economies and democracies.”
Besides, France has also been urging the bloc to expand the Digital Services Act beyond illegal content, in order to include controlling the dissemination of harmful content and disinformation. Cedric O said: “We think the text needs to be broadened to include other types of problematic content. If there is no legal framework there is nothing to stop Twitter or Facebook from censoring speech they do not like.”
France believed that amidst the lack of digital regulations, the technology giants gain more room to control the content and block whatever they don’t want to be exhibited. Another EU member which saw a valid reason behind France’s proposal was Germany. Besides, the French official said that he also discussed the matter with his counterparts in Netherlands and Portugal and hoped to gain their support.
The European power has been pushing more rigorously for laying the framework for digital regulations after the censuring episode of Twitter, wherein the former US President Donald Trump’s account was blocked by the social media company stating its privacy rules. The move was strongly condemned by various European leaders.
Despite France’s continues pressing for stricter digital regulations, EU officials fear that introducing separate laws in every EU member state would come in conflict with the bloc’s primary single market model. EU officials believed that it would make a company no longer subject to one regulator but 27 regulators and it would put the single market framework to serious risk.