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European Union limits targeted advertising and content algorithms under new law

While the European Commission has yet to release the final text of the Digital Services Act, it did detail some of its provisions on Saturday. Most notably, the law bans ads that target individuals based on their religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or political affiliation. Companies also cannot serve targeted ads to minors.

Another part of the law singles out recommendation algorithms. Online platforms like Facebook will need to be transparent about how those systems work to display content to users. They will also need to offer alternative systems "not based on profiling," meaning more platforms would need to offer chronological feeds. Additionally, some of the largest platforms today will be required to share "key" data to vetted researchers and NGOs so those groups can provide insights into "how online risks evolve."

"Today's agreement on the Digital Services Act is historic, both in terms of speed and of substance," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. "It will ensure that the online environment remains a safe space, safeguarding freedom of expression and opportunities for digital businesses. It gives practical effect to the principle that what is illegal offline, should be illegal online."

"We welcome the DSA's goals of making the internet even more safe, transparent and accountable, while ensuring that European users, creators and businesses continue to benefit from the open web," a Google spokesperson told Engadget. "As the law is finalized and implemented, the details will matter. We look forward to working with policymakers to get the remaining technical

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