The EU wants messaging apps to exchange files with each other


It is no secret how, in the last two years, the European Union has been paying particular attention to large technology companies, one of the main legislative proposals on the subject is represented by the Digital Markets Act (DMA); the areas in which the proposal moves are different, ranging from allowing users to choose the web browser, search engines, virtual assistants to use on their devices but not only. The main purpose is to combat anti-competitive practices against smaller companiesgiving them the opportunity to compete with the big names on the pitch, consequently increasing the possibilities for innovation in the sector; it is precisely in this perspective that the latest EU proposal is making its way, concerning messaging apps such as iMessage, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger.

The EU wants large messaging apps to be able to receive messages and files from smaller apps

According to what the colleagues of AppleInsider, the European Union would like to force the big names in instant messaging to send and receive messages, calls, videos and various files from smaller chat applications; this to give more space to competition in the sector; if the proposal were accepted and subsequently transformed into law, it would be applied to any company with at least 45 million monthly active users, as well as 10,000 active corporate users each year. There is also the aspect of the sanctionsin fact, if a company decides not to comply with what has been established, it would incur penalties up to 10% of its global annual turnover; in case of repeated violations, the fine could get up to 20%.

One of the first questions that may come to mind in this regard is how is it possible ensure security in the interoperability of applications. Andreas Schwab rapporteur of the proposal in the European Parliament, argues not only that Parliament had already foreseen the interoperability of applications in safetybut also how it is willing to wait as long as necessary to implement end-to-end encryptionto ensure the security of the different applications when exchanging messages, photos or files.

In 2020, the EU Parliament had invited the big names in technology, such as Google and Apple, to participate in interviews concerning the DMA; at the moment there are no precise indications on the timing of a possible implementation of the rules, the act is in fact awaiting approval by the European Parliament and Council. Even if it were to be approved in the short term, it would still take a long time before the giants of the sector can fulfill the required safety requirements; therefore we will not have, in the immediate future, the possibility of exchanging messages between different platforms.

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