Apr 8, 2022 - Technology

Vestager defends the Digital Markets Act from critics

Illustration of the EU flag with downward facing cursor arrows in place of stars.

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

EU executive vice president Margrethe Vestager defended the Digital Markets Act on Thursday, saying it's up to tech companies to figure out how to live with it.

Why it matters: Critics of the legislation have said it could break encryption for messaging, it makes products less useful for users, and it provides little clarity on how companies can avoid massive fines.

Some critics suggest the DMA story could mirror that of Europe's General Data Protection Regulation — a privacy law, implemented in 2018, that many users dealt with only in the form of pop-up windows.

What they're saying: Speaking to Axios' Ashley Gold and Dan Primack during a Twitter Spaces event, Vestager said it's up to tech companies to bake DMA requirements into their platforms in a way that's user-friendly and attractive.

  • "I think it's about time we are asked for real consent," Vestager said. "I think there's a lot of room for improvements... for a consumer to know what it is I'm consenting to or not."
  • She said EU technical experts say it is possible to keep platforms secure while requiring interoperability, and she expects companies to evolve their abilities over time.
  • "If you look at what is possible with interoperability and security now, it's probably different than what would be possible in two, four, six years' time, so it's a staggered approach."

One fun thing: Vestager was a bit delayed logging onto the Twitter Spaces interview — her iPhone's microphone had been disabled for Twitter by her privacy settings .

Go deeper: You can listen to the entire interview with Vestager here.

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