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Regulatory evolutions

Privatization of justice

Given the magnitude of the task of monitoring what is happening on the Internet, states tend to want to shift this responsibility to services. They include rules of “good behavior” in their terms of use, and arrogate to themselves the right, at their discretion, to censor content or even to cut off access to an offending user. This power is exercised without contradictory debate or independent arbitration.

Having no interest in taking risks, service publishers end up over-censoring the content of their users, impeding freedom of expression and undermining democracy.

Respect for personal data

In the face of abuses by some service providers, some states have issued common sense regulations on the processing of personal data (notably the European Commission with the GDPR).

In view of historical practices, these regulations are extremely restrictive for existing service publishers. Penalties for nonconformity, hitherto insignificant for large groups, are now proportional to turnover, thus becoming dissuasive even for the them.

In this context, some services may see an advantage in getting rid of the responsibility of storing and processing personal data.