Digital Markets Act: Device Neutrality finally becomes a reality
After many iterations and amendments, the European Parliament adopted the Digital Markets Act by 642 votes in favour, 8 votes against, and 46 abstentions. With this vote the principle of Device Neutrality is introduced. At the same time, the Parliament missed the chance to introduce strong requirements for interoperability based on Open Standards.
"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.", says Lucas Lasota, the FSFE's Deputy Legal Coordinator.
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 device and operating system is an important factor to guarantee 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.
The FSFE has been working for two decades empowering people to control technology in their devices. We will closely follow the implementation of the law and continue to conduct activities and initiatives to safeguard end-users' interests.