INSTANT PROJECT - Mapping the legal framework governing online platforms

The INSTANT platform is expected to be an innovative platform that will seek to bridge the gap between supply and demand in the hospitality industry and upgrade the quality of services offered by creating a single information box (a 'one-stop shop') to address its chronic problems. tourism industry. The INSTANT platform will facilitate efficient and easy job search and matching, as well as the provision of vocational training, thus addressing the problem of staffing hotel units at its core. It aims to promote and strengthen innovation, research and technological development, then leading to economic and social development while enhancing competitiveness in the economy.

Given the ambitious goals of the INSTANT project and given the features and functions of the platform, it is important to consider potential obligations and other challenges that INSTANT may face in the future. To ensure the legality and smooth operation of the platform, users must feel safe using it, while at the same time the owners of the platform must be protected and their liability must be limited. The regulatory framework governing online platforms provides certain services to the service provider for the protection of users, but also provides some protection and limitation of liability to online platforms acting as intermediaries.

The relations of the internet platforms with their users are regulated by the Terms and Conditions of the platforms themselves, as well as by the regulatory framework that applies to their activities. In particular, protection is required against unfair contractual and commercial practices, due to information asymmetries, as well as imbalances in the respective economic and contractual power. The use of an unprecedented amount of data, both personal and non-personal, and their ability to improve the services they offer to users of online platforms and sell aggregate data to advertisers are some of the hallmarks of digital platform economics. . Online platforms are required to comply, inter alia, 

The following is a brief overview of the relevant European legal framework for digital digital platforms and how it affects the use and operation of the INSTANT platform:  

• The European Regulation 2019/1150 on the promotion of justice and transparency for business users of online mediation services was recently adopted to address possible frictions in the economy of online platforms and to contribute to the smooth functioning of the internal market by establishing rules to ensure that to business users of online mediation services the appropriate transparency, fairness and effective redress. Regulation 2019/1150 provides for the free choice of users to terminate the contractual relationship between providers and users, the avoidance of retroactive changes to the Terms and Conditions and the obligation to draw attention to the technical and contractual nature of the platform. 

• The INSTANT platform, in order to comply with the competition rules, is important to provide and ensure accessibility to all interested companies and potential employees or other users, without discrimination to all users, operating in a way that promotes open access without obstacles. 

Directive 2000/31 / EC on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular e-commerce, in the internal market provides for a comprehensive shield of liability for third-party platform operators. The E-Commerce Directive has been incorporated into national law with the Certain Aspects of Information Society Services and especially E-Commerce as well as the Related Issues Law of 2004 (156 (I) / 2004). As operators of "hosting provider" platforms, INSTANT will be responsible for third party content on the platform in the event that INSTANT does not remove such illegal content as soon as it becomes aware of it. Nevertheless,

Regulation 2016/670 on the protection of natural persons in relation to the processing of personal data concerning the free movement of such data, in conjunction with the Law on the Protection of Natural Persons Against the Processing of Personal Data and Free Movement of these Data Law of 2018, define the framework that regulates the data collected for specific, explicit and legal purposes. It is a given that the INSTANT platform will comply with the above legal framework, including the evaluation of the data to be collected, the basis on which the data will be processed and, if necessary, the appointment of a data protection officer. In addition,
Furthermore, the platform should operate within the framework of the security and integrity of Networks and Services and Security, Privacy and Data Protection. In the context of the application of the confidentiality of communications, the INSTANT platform will receive the consent of the visitors for the storage or retrieval of any information on a computer or other device, smartphone or tablet due to the Cookies. The revolutionary INSTANT platform will clearly state and explain to users clearly when consent is required and for what purposes as well as how any consent of the platform's users can be revoked. 

What awaits us? At EU level, there are many developments and efforts to lead the EU into the digital age, reforming its legal framework for the digital economy, introducing the digital services package and the new competition tool. The digital services package consists of two acts, the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act, which aim to revise the e-commerce directive and define more closely the responsibilities of digital service providers for third party content so that strengthen and harmonize users' rights and their implementation across the EU. In addition, the new legal framework will create a level playing field in digital markets, where a small number of large online platforms, known as ecosystems, currently act as gatekeepers. The new competition tool will enable the Commission to identify and correct structural competition problems at an early stage. The new powers to be taken over by the European Commission include, inter alia, timely intervention in favour of competition in the markets, so that it can keep up with the rapid developments in the digital markets and respond appropriately to problems arising under competition law would not be feasible under existing competition rules. 

There may of course be additional laws, regulations and guidelines under which the INSTANT platform must ensure its full compliance with both its content and its wider operation. The final configuration of the platform - and the desired mode of operation - is also what will determine the legal framework within which it should operate. The purpose of the project is to ensure all of the above before the platform is safely put into operation, so as to provide security to users and protection of any of their data.

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