EU High-Tech Laws: Now How about Enforcement?

July 6, 2022

I read a few of the dozens and dozens of posts about the European Union’s Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act. A representative story comes from the “trust” outfit Reuters. “EU Lawmakers Pass Landmark Tech Rules, But Enforcement a Worry” states:

EU lawmakers gave the thumbs up on Tuesday to landmark rules to rein in tech giants such as Alphabet unit Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft, but enforcement could be hampered by regulators’ limited resources.

Note the “but”.

Several observations:

First, have you ever visited a shared common space at a university. Remember the signs: “Clean up” and “Put trash in receptacle.” How did those work out? The new regulations may have similar impact.

Second, legal eagles defending tech giants against a legal claim are very good at finding ways to delay, put red herrings in the court’s lunch room fridge, and discerning legal nuances overlooked by legal eagles not compensated to land, root, and swoop on prey.

Third, big tech companies have been doing their best to operate autonomously for decades. Do senior executives know what happens when a new service becomes available? Here’s the answer: “Commissioner, thank you for asking that question. I will have to get back to you with the details you request.”

Yeah, regulation arrives a day late and hundreds of millions of euros for crime analysts and investigators.

Stephen E Arnold, July 6, 2022


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