Disinfo Update 26/08/2019

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Hello everyone, we hope you enjoyed the holidays! 
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Digital priorities for the new Commission

An internal European Commission document was leaked to Politico outlining the next Commission’s potential priorities. This includes a new Digital Services Act (see p.24-25) that foresees ‘an enhanced regulatory structure to ensure oversight, enforcement and cooperation, especially in areas such as illegal and harmful content,’ as well as a ‘duty of care’ for platforms. Yet, nothing is set in stone as any proposals are subject to extensive multi-stakeholder consultation, hence these priorities may materialise into something completely different. Not to mention the Commission has since spoken out to dismiss the document.

Drawing back the veil?

Facebook will now give its users more transparency and control over how their data is shared with third parties. The Off-Facebook Activity tool has only been rolled out in Ireland, Spain, and South Korea thus far, but it will eventually go global. While this sounds promising, critics have been quick to point out that this ‘does not actually delete anything from Facebook’s servers’, but instead simply ‘disconnects’ data from a user’s account. Furthermore, Facebook will not extensively promote this feature, which raises eyebrows since activating the Off-Facebook tool will likely be a niche user activity.

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