Digital Markets Act: Device Neutrality finally becomes a reality
After many iterations and amendments, the European Parliament adopted the Digital Markets Act (DMA) by 642 votes in favour, 8 votes against and 46 abstentions, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) reports.
The Act introduced the principle of Device Neutrality. At the same time, the Parliament missed the chance to introduce strict interoperability requirements based on Open Standards.
The FSFE has urged EU legislators to safeguard Device Neutrality in the DMA. We regret the voting has not contemplated setting Open Standards as default to define interoperability. However, getting Device Neutrality in the legislation is the first step. The right for end users to use their own devices and operating systems is an important factor to guarantee the access of free software operating systems to dominant platforms. As a daily reality for many users, this option enlarges the audience for free software adoption.
Lucas Lasota, the FSFE’s Deputy Legal Co-ordinator, remarked as follows:
We strongly believe the digital markets will benefit by facilitating access to Free Software in devices. Device Neutrality translates in the DMA as stricter consent rules for pre-installed apps, safeguards against vendor lock-in and real-time data portability. Interoperability of services was also introduced, but not with the requirement to be based on Open Standards. This is a lost chance to leverage competition with accessible and non-discriminatory technical specifications. Open Standards are an important element for innovation by allowing market actors to innovate on top of technical specification standards and build their own services.
The FSFE has been working for two decades empowering people to control the technology in their devices. It will closely follow the implementation of the Act and continue its activities and initiatives to safeguard the interests of end users.
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