EU’s AI Act and DSA negotiations in full swing

Crucial digital policy bills are being negotiated in Brussels right now. These bills also have a relevance for Switzerland. While the European Parliament and the European Council are still busy shaping the Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act), the Digital Services Act (DSA) is approaching the finish line. AlgorithmWatch has been intensely working on proposals regarding both regulations. We have clear demands what should flow into them so that they genuinely protect our fundamental rights as well as the public interest.

The Artificial Intelligence Act …

Committees of the EU Parliament and the EU Council are negotiating the Draft Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act). The IMCO-LIBE committees lead the negotiations in the Parliament. They are expected to disclose their draft report in the following days. The Council’s compromise versions are already circulating. The AI Act seeks to protect citizens against negative effects stemming from the use of AI systems, concerning fundamental rights, security, and health. Over the past months and in close collaboration with civil society partners, AlgorithmWatch has been intensely working on proposals to shape the Act so that it lives up to its ambition. In order to achieve this goal, it is important not only to oblige the developers of AI systems, but also those who deploy them. The risks involved heavily depend on the context in which an AI system is being deployed.

Read this briefing to learn more about our central demands for improving the AI Act. It's based on the joint statement coauthored by AlgorithmWatch and signed by over 120 civil society organizations.

… the Digital Services Act …

The DSA is a new set of EU-wide rules that would force the largest online intermediary services, including major social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Tik Tok, to do more to tackle illegal content on their platforms as well as the systemic risk coming with them. The so-called DSA trilogue negotiations between the Parliament, the Council, and the Commission are nearing the finish line. The political pressure is now ramping up on the three bodies to soon reach a final, compromised version of the law, following last month’s deal on the DSA’s sister legislation, the Digital Markets Act.

In this policy paper, AlgorithmWatch urges EU negotiators to oblige online platforms to ensure transparency and accountability – including a reliable data access for research in the public interest. As the pressure on the DSA negotiations ramps up, we urge policymakers not to rush to a weakened compromise on these important measures. Getting them right is crucial to our collective understanding of how platforms influence our public sphere.

… and Switzerland

Both laws will have a significant legal and political impact on Switzerland. The AI Act willnot onlybring obligations to Swiss AI providers but also set a new standard in the debate on the regulation of algorithmic systems. Furthermore, Switzerland will participate in the starting negotiations on legal framework on AI as a member of the Council of Europe.

Users of social media platforms in Switzerland will also benefit from the DSA. Firstly, the platforms will likely implement some DSA obligations (e.g., stronger complaint mechanisms if content is deleted or accounts are closed) in Switzerland, too. The public will profit from increased research activities by secured data access and an expanded systematic knowledge about the platforms’ influence. Secondly, the DSA is expected to be the point of reference in the upcoming debate on platform regulation in Switzerland.

As an organization located in Berlin and Zurich, we will continue to follow all these processes. We advocate for a use of algorithmic systems that actually benefits all members of our society, be it in public administration, in shaping public opinion, or at the work place.

Read more on our policy & advocacy work on ADM in the public sector.

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