Mozilla challenges the status quo and embraces openness: the position of the company on
the Digital Services Act (DSA)
On September 7 th 2020 Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker published an open letter to the European
Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen, urging her “to seize a ‘once-in-a-generation’
opportunity to build a better Internet”. The reason behind was the public consultation on the
Digital Services Act. In addition Mozilla provides thoughts and insights in support of this major
European endeavour. The recommendations of the company can be summarised in the following
● Meaningful transparency – Despite the efforts of the European Commission and other
entities in recent years, disinformation continues to be an issue that should be properly
addressed. One of the approaches is to get a real insight into how it is spreading through online
systems, and the extent to which platform architectures and commercial goals may contribute to
this. The DSA can set the standard by ensuring platforms are transparent about what advertising
is on their platform and how that advertising is channeled to users. The Commission could also
consider whether broad advertising disclosure protocols that apply beyond just political ads
would give the public greater insight into potential harm happening on closed platforms.
● Content accountability – Any regulation should encourage comprehensive content
responsibility. This means companies are accountable for ensuring their practices and processes
do not amplify harmful and illegal content. There is always a risk that new regulation can stifle
the creative innovation that has been achieved under previous regulatory regimes. However, in
order to mitigate the risk the Commission should engage with diversity of voices and
● A healthier online ecosystem – Advertising on the Internet has contributed to the
development of a range of quality products and services that many of us rely on. On the other
hand, the aggressive collection of personal data and microtargeting of individuals is at the heart
of many of the systemic problems facing the net. The DSA can address this by ensuring the
advertising economy is not a means for individual and collective harm.
● Contestable digital markets – Intermediary platforms bring important consumer and
commercial benefits in the European markets, but also hold tremendous power. Many small,
medium, and independent companies, including Mozilla, are vulnerable to ‘upstream’ actions at
the platform level that can have an impact on ‘downstream’ innovation and consumer choice.
The Commission should strengthen contestable digital markets to the benefit of all Europeans.
In conclusion Mozilla declares its intention to challenge the status quo and embrace openness,
either through pioneering security standards, or by developing industry-leading privacy tools.
Compiled by Media 21 Foundation from: