The EU’s Impact on Tech Company Transformation in 2023

This year, tech companies have made important concessions following pressure from the European Union. Apple adopted the RCS protocol for text message interoperability with Android devices and switched to a USB-C port in its latest iPhone lineup. Meta offered users the choice to opt out of targeted advertising for a monthly subscription, while TikTok, Meta, and Snap allowed some users to opt out of their recommendation algorithms.

The EU’s efforts finally came to fruition in 2023, with the most immediate result being the arrival of the iPhone 15 lineup, which was the first phone from Apple to support USB-C. Apple executive, Greg Joswiak, acknowledged that compliance with local laws was necessary, and the shift to USB-C was a result of a European law making it the common charging standard.

Apple also agreed to support the RCS standard in iMessage, potentially due to political pressure from the EU. Additionally, EU regulations under the Digital Markets Act resulted in detailed disclosures about disinformation and recommendation algorithms from major social media apps.

These changes are not only beneficial for EU users but also for US users, given the higher degree of consumer protection in Europe. However, it remains unclear how enforcement of these rules will impact the actual user experience. Notable changes for EU-based social media users included the option to opt out of recommendation algorithms and targeted advertising in exchange for a monthly subscription.

Overall, these concessions from tech companies highlight the impact of EU regulations on the global tech industry, leading to changes that may not have occurred without external pressure.