AGCOM: A Survey to map the Digital Ecosystem is launched
Classifying online platform services and analysing the national and international legal frameworks
The pandemic has amplified the role played by online platforms in the digital economy. Unprecedented changes have been seen in economic processes, in the representation of public and political bodies as in individuals’ habits globally.
In this context, AGCOM, the Italian Regulatory Authority for the communications sector, has launched a fact-finding survey which will use new and innovative techniques and will map every component of the digital ecosystem in relation to national and international regulatory frameworks.
AGCOM Commissioners Laura Aria and Elisa Giomi are the rapporteurs of Resolution No. 44/21/CONS, which the Council unanimously approved.
In light of the recent regulatory and policy proposals (Digital Services Act and Digital Market Act) launched by the European Commission, which proposed ad hoc regulations aimed at increasing the accountability of online platforms, the entire international community is particularly attentive to the matter.
The aim of the survey is two-fold: to test a methodology for the systemic detection of critical issues arising from the continuous evolution of the services provided by online platforms; to carry out a comparative analysis of international legal systems, which will put AGCOM in a suitable position to face the new challenges posed by the digital ecosystem.
The MAMP methodology – AGCOM Methodology for Mapping, Assessing and Making Policies – aims to intercept all services currently offered on online platforms and identify individual and collective advantages. It also aims to identify risks and problems: illegal activities which endanger small and medium-sized enterprises, hate speech and, more generally, individual or mass violations of fundamental rights which are capable of undermining the integrity of democratic processes, individual decision-making autonomy, the maintenance of the social-fabric, information pluralism and the protection of minors.
The survey will be articulated into four lines of activity:
- mapping of existing “infrastructural services” in the market (search engines, social networks, geolocation services, etc.);
- identifying issues generated by or associated with each type of service;
- summarising the current national, European and international regulatory framework;
- comparing legislative, regulatory, or jurisprudential interventions currently in force at an international level and selecting best practices.
The fact-finding survey on online platforms’ services will last 180 days (6 months). It is part of a twenty years long tradition of investigations and analyses carried out by AGCOM covering the entire communications ecosystem.
The survey is one of AGCOM’s contributions to the public debate on the digital platforms and services. It aims to provide a solid knowledge base for policymakers. It falls in conjunction with the International “Safer Internet Day”, established by the European Union in 2004 to promote greater Internet use awareness.