COVID Scams Prompt Europe To Press For Data Sharing

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The escalating COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing second lockdown in Europe have prompted lawmakers to press for eCommerce platforms and other media to share data, according to a TechCrunch report on Friday (Nov. 6). 

The effort is aimed at reducing the number of COVID-19 scams by “rogue traders” that target people and businesses affected by the pandemic.

Didier Reynders, the EU commissioner for justice, said that fraudsters see the pandemic as “an opportunity to trick European consumers.” He added that he wants platforms “to join forces and engage in a peer-to-peer exchange.”  

“We know from our earlier experience that fraudsters see this pandemic as an opportunity to trick European consumers. We also know that working with the major online platforms is vital to protecting consumers from their illegal practices,” Reynders said.

EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, head of the Digital Services Act (DSA), said in a speech last week that the DSA will require platforms to behave responsibly when dealing with “illegal content and dangerous products,” TechCrunch noted.

The Digital Markets Act — another legislative package — will bring more mandates in order for a platform to hold a dominant market position.

The finalized draft of the DSA will closely control the activity of large technology companies, the article said. There is even talk of forcing them to share their data with smaller companies and prohibiting them from applying any kind of preferential treatment for their products on their own platforms.

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