Breton in Silicon Valley to remind Big Tech of Europe’s digital rulebook

Breton is spending two days in San Francisco to meet with Big Tech CEOs to get them in line for the Digital Services Act.

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Europe’s digital Commissioner, Thierry Breton, is spending two days in the heart of Silicon Valley to meet with Big Tech executives and remind them of the upcoming Digital Services Act (DSA). The move, seen by some as Europe’s ‘last warning shot‘ and ‘taking the fight to CEO’s turf‘ comes two months before new standards for online platforms come into force in August across the European Union.

The DSA will oblige major tech platforms to fight back against online hate speech, illegal content, and disinformation. Although Musk previously said that Twitter would comply with the DSA content moderation rules, Breton visited the company headquarters to perform a ‘stress test’ and check how Twitter handles tweets deemed problematic according to European regulators. Breton, also called the ‘digital enforcer’, re-affirmed that all companies operating in Europe will have to respect the new rules on platforms, data and AI.

Besides Twitter and Musk, Breton is visiting on Friday META’s CEO Zuckerberg, ChatGPT’s OpenAI chief executive officer Sam Altman, and Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang. Over a dozen large tech companies, including YouTube, TikTok, and others, will have a legal requirement to address disinformation, cyberbullying, and threats to public safety on their platforms. Each company must provide the EU Commission by the end of August with the first assessment of major risks they identified for their users.

Failure to comply might result in fines of up to 6% of annual global revenue — amounting to billions of dollars for some tech giants — or even a ban on operating in the EU, with its 450 million consumers.