European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans said on Monday that the EU and authorities around the world will have to regulate big technology and social media companies in order to protect citizens, and that these regulations would work better if companies like Google or Facebook cooperated with authorities, Reuters reports.
Big tech firms have been under scrutiny all over Europe and the US for the ways in which they utilize user data in order to become more profitable.
“At some point, we will have to regulate,” said Timmermans at the World Policy Forum in Berlin. “The first task of any public authority is to protect its citizens – and if we see you as a threat to our citizens, we will regulate and if you don’t work with us, we will probably regulate badly.”
The EU last month accused Google, Facebook and Twitter of not having managed to combat fake news ahead of European Parliament elections in May, after they signed a voluntary code of conduct in order to avoid regulation.
Facebook said on Monday that it would increase efforts to fight misinformation before the elections.