This September begun in Chile with the entry of a bill of law focused on the regulation of contents provided by digital platforms. The passage of this bill (Bulletin No. 14561-19) seeks the modernization, regularization and legislation of digital platforms.
One of the main objectives of this initiative is to protect the so-called “vulnerable groups”, given the content to which they are exposed. The bill also seeks to establish the principles, rights and duties that must lead the performance of both users and providers of these platforms, so all the involved agents could preserve the social peace on the digital coexistence.
Below you can find the main topics that this bill of law pretends to regulate:
- Guiding principles: The following are established as such:
- Equivalence between the physical and digital space for users, meaning that they will have the same rights, freedoms, duties and obligations in both spaces.
- Compliance, since digital platforms must comply, both in their content and in their design, with the requirements set forth in the Constitution, laws and regulations in force.
- Universal access, as well as a guarantee of the provision of quality and non-discriminatory service.
- Rights and obligations of the agents involved
- Net neutrality must be a priority objective for public authorities. They must ensure that data is treated fairly, i.e. that it is not discriminatory, restrictive or intrusive, and that it does not matter who the sender or receiver is, or what content is accessed or distributed.
- Content may not be removed, unless it is civilly libelous, slanderous, threatening, constitutes a crime defined by other legal bodies or incites the commission of a crime. In this sense, those who exercise their freedom of expression on digital platforms will be responsible for the content broadcasted, and the providers of such platforms will not be liable in those cases in which they did not originate the transmission or modify data or content. The actions of the providers will only be considered unlawful when they exceed the typical scope of the service, or when they do not act with due diligence, which will be understood in those cases in which they should have blocked or removed content because they had actual knowledge of its unlawfulness.
- Users may rectify all content that violates their image and identity, both personal and family. Likewise, the right is established to submit a reasoned request for the inclusion of an update notice in the case of news whose original content does not reflect the current situation of the person, causing him/her harm. It also regulates the right to request the provider to delete personal data circulating on the platform without their consent, as well as the deletion of profiles of persons who have died, either at the request of the heirs or by the inclusion of a relevant clause in the terms and conditions of use of the platform agreed by the user.
- The protection of the image and integrity of vulnerable persons is regulated as an obligation for the digital platform provider. To this end, they must be warned every time they may have access to sensitive content, being those considered to be of an addictive nature or having this character for other reasons. In addition, platforms that expose content that is expressly aimed at adults must have mechanisms for verifying the age of the user.
- The right to non-discrimination of users, both direct and indirect, is established, being a duty of the provider to implement bias control mechanisms on the platform.
- Users shall also have the right to be informed about the decisions made by the platforms about them, and about the content provided by them. They may also deactivate those programs that make decisions for them, as long as this does not impede the operation of the platform.
- In strict connection with the above, users shall be alerted every time they are faced with an interaction with algorithms or Artificial Intelligence.
- All complaints filed by users shall be handled in a transparent and prompt manner, and shall always be subject to appeal before the ordinary courts of law.
- In order to be able to bind a consumer, the supplier shall indicate on its platform all the contractual terms offered that relate to the essential and most obvious conditions of the contract, which the consumer could not have ignored without gross negligence. Everything else is only binding on the platform supplier, unless the consumer invokes it as a basis for his right.
- The need for express, specific and informed acceptance is established for any act of geolocation, storage, processing or transfer of data collected on the digital consumer.
- The digital platform provider will be objectively liable for all damages (patrimonial and moral) caused to users. In case of breach of the provisions of the project, the amounts corresponding to compensation will be doubled, and may even order the temporary blocking of the platform if there is a systematic infringement.
We hope that the processing of this project will be expeditious and will ensure a clear regulation for this type of platforms, giving greater certainty to the actions of all the agents involved.