With its upcoming Digital Services Act, the European Commission intends to set clear rules for online platforms and the services they provide, which will make them more accountable and subject to public scrutiny and oversight. If internet platforms are to be held accountable, the new rules must enable journalists and researchers to gain access to data and that allows them to dissect the algorithmic systems that govern the content users get to see on their screens.
In this podcast, AlgorithmWatch and the EPC explore why data access matters; what makes it so difficult for journalists and researchers to get their hands-on data from internet platforms; and how EU policymakers plan to take the decision-making on internet governance out of the private boardroom.
You will hear excerpts from a speech by Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age and Competition. She spoke recently at an online webinar where AlgorithmWatch and the EPC presented the outcome and final recommendations of their 'Governing Platforms' project. We also spoke with Tom Dobber, postdoctoral researcher at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research, and Rania Wazir, data scientist and board member of the Vienna Data Science Group. They are two of many researchers who, in the context of AlgorithmWatch's 'Left on Read' campaign, gave an account of their experiences with trying to get access to data on internet platforms.