Meta pleads for the maintenance of European rules in the UK – Image

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, is calling for UK legislation to retain some of the European rules limiting the liability of internet platforms, at a time when London is considering abandoning any legislation inherited from the EU. The US giant says it wants to “draw attention to a key area of ‚Äč‚ÄčEuropean law which (the company) believes may be affected” by a bill currently being studied by British MPs, according to a letter to the parliamentary committee responsible for the file and published on Friday on the Parliament’s website.

The company refers to the transposition into UK law in 2002 of a European directive which limits platforms’ liability for the content they convey, particularly “when they act as a simple channel”, Meta specifies in this document. . “In practice, this ensures that online platforms are not primarily responsible for illegal content, information and/or activities of third parties carried out on the platform of which they are not aware”, clarifies Meta. In September, the British government proposed legislation to abandon, by 31 December 2023, all legislation inherited from the EU after Brexit that would not have been explicitly retained in national law. It is currently being considered in Parliament.

Meta is therefore calling on MPs to explicitly retain the legislation in question or exclude it from the scope of the new law, otherwise “platforms and websites will be less likely to want to operate in the UK”. The bill has sparked a very wide outcry in the UK, with many interest groups and public and private bodies accusing the government of wanting to move too quickly. “The bill proposes to automatically sweep away thousands of legislative acts and upset decades of case law,” the UK trade union TUC, for example, condemned in another written submission.

“It is striking that ministers have yet to explain which laws they intend to keep, change or expire”, the TUC continued, assessing that “the ultimate goal is deregulation”. TheCityUK, one of London’s main financial lobbies, is not to be outdone, questioning the “relevance of this bill in the current circumstances”, particularly due to “the risk of worsening relations with the EU”, but also “for potential increase in the burdens weighing on businesses”. “At a minimum, the Bill should be amended to allow for a much longer period of implementation without wasting the limited funding” from the Government, TheCityUK recommends.

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