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New digital rules in Europe can fix Facebook: Whistleblower Haugen

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New Delhi, Nov 9 (IANS) Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has stressed that the new Digital Services Act (DSA) in the European Union (EU) that is under deliberations can actually tame the social network.

In a testimony to the European Parliament, she said that Facebook is exceptionally adept at “dancing with data” and they must not pass naive laws that simply require the tech giant to hand over data about what’s happening on its platform.

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“Rather Facebook must be made to explain any data-sets it hands over, down to the detail of the queries it uses to pull data and generate oversight audits,” she told the EU lawmakers late on Monday, reports TechCrunch.

“Facebook has shown that they will lie with data. I encourage you to put in the DSA; if Facebook gives you data they should have to show you how they got ita It’s really, really important that they should have to disclose the process, the queries, the notebooks they used to pull this data because you can’t trust anything they give you unless you can confirm that,” she told the European Parliament.

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Her EU testimony comes as the UK is mulling to speed up criminal sanctions on social media CEOs for breaches of online safety legislation and failure to handle harmful content, as Facebook and other firms face intense scrutiny the world over.

According to Nadine Dorries, the UK secretary of state for digital, she is looking at speeding up the application of criminal sanctions for breaches of upcoming UK online safety legislation.

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Haugen told EU lawmakers that she “strongly believe[s] that Europe has a critical role to play in regulating these platforms because you are a vibrant, linguistically diverse democracy”.

“If you get the DSA right for your linguistically and ethnically diverse, 450 million EU citizens you can create a game-changer for the world a” you can force platforms to price in societal risk to their business operations so that the decisions about what products to build and how to build them is not purely based on profit maximisation,” she argued.

“There’s a deep, deep need to make sure that platforms must disclose what safety systems they have, what languages those safety systems are in and a performance per language — and that’s the kind of thing where you can put in the DSA,” she added.

–IANS

na/ksk/

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