The first important step is a strong Digital Services Act that stands as a first line of defence against the harms of Big Tech. It must:
1. Turn off the manipulation machine
Big Tech’s toxic recommender systems and algorithms are amplifying hate speech and disinformation - weaponizing every societal fault line with relentless surveillance to maximise “engagement”. These systemic risks are created not just by external actors but are a feature of an unconscionable, unethical business model. It is time for these platforms to de-risk their design, detox their algorithms, give users real control over them and be held to account for failing to do so.
2. Stop surveillance for profit
We’ve been conned into giving “consent” for surveillance. We were never given a meaningful choice. The DSA and DMA must put an end to surveillance advertising that people never asked for. The use of digital services cannot be conditional on acceptance of surveillance and profiling. In addition, we demand transparency on all aspects of online ads and enforcement of our data rights to make them a reality.
3. Put people back in charge
Big Tech cannot continue to call the shots as judge and jury. The DSA must create stronger powers for regulators to hold Big Tech to account, including through robust audit powers that cannot simply be gamed by the companies. Europe must not allow a repeat of the failures of enforcement as seen with the GDPR.
We expect and demand that our elected representatives will stand with us.
TO READ THE FULL DECLARATION, CLICK HERE.