The European Union is preparing a draft legislation that will fundamentally change how we use smartphones, especially regarding pre-installed apps.
According to the Financial Times, an early draft of their Digital Services Act will involve changing fundamental tenets in the smartphone world.
This piece of legislation is expected by the end of the year. It is the EU’s first big overhaul of regulating the Internet for two decades. They want to set the global standards for the digital economy and to tackle advantages enjoyed by Big Tech.
The interesting news about this draft is regarding installed apps. They want large platforms to let users uninstall any pre-installed apps on devices like smartphones or computers. We are used to laptops and smartphones coming with pre-installed apps that give an advantage to the platform provider or those people that pay to have their apps as part of the package. If passed, this could change how phones are packaged and sold in the EU and possibly the world if they follow what the EU is doing.
Other key pieces in the EU draft apart from pre-installed apps
They also want to target big tech companies to share their huge troves of customer data with smaller rivals. These tech companies “shall not use data collected on the platform…for [their] own commercial activities…unless they [make it] accessible to business users active in the same commercial activities,” said the draft.
Separately, they want to include a rule that so-called gatekeeper platforms should only be able to use the data for narrow purposes.
It suggests that Big Tech may be banned from preferential treatment of their own services on their sites or platforms. It also added that regulators should not rush to define certain companies as gatekeeper.
Big Tech will fight this
Tech companies, especially big tech companies will fight this. There are 30 paragraphs of prohibitions or obligations that will rock their current business models. The EU is no stranger in the area of digital economy legislation. They have the GDPR which has been used as a model for data protection and now Kenya has its own version.