The European Union is coming to the rescue of consumers again with new rules which would reign in abuse by platform owners and OEMs.
According to the Financial Times, EU regulators are planning to soon pass the Digital Services Act what will tackle a number of abusive practices.
First is forcing OEMs to make bloatware uninstallable. These apps are often installed as part of deals by OEMs or platform owners, such as the infamous Candy Crush Saga on Windows 10 or the Microsoft Office suite on Android smartphones.
They are also talking companies such as Google and Amazon that takes advantage of consumer data collected on their platform to improve their competitive position, for example, Amazon looking at private sales data to decide which Amazon’s Basic product to create next. If the act passes Amazon would have to make this data available to competitors to maintain a level playing field.
A draft of the act would also prevent “gatekeeper platforms” (companies that own the platforms that others do business on, like Google and its Play Store, Apple and its App Store, or Amazon and its Marketplace), from using advertising data they receive from other businesses for “any other purpose other than advertising services.”
Lastly, the act would prevent big tech companies from giving preferential treatment to their own services. We would imagine this would prevent Microsoft from promoting Edge in the Start menu or Google from promoting Chrome on their search page for example.
The Digital Services Act is expected to pass by the end of the year.