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EU commissioner welcomes Twitter’s political transparency plans

Washington – EU Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip has welcomed the intent of Twitter to bring more transparency to US political advertisements and he expects the same steps to be rolled out in Europe.

Ansip is in San Francisco for two days of meetings with top representatives of Facebook, Google, Twitter and Netflix and to discuss EU-US digital cooperation.

Twitter said last week just before Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg's appearance in Congress that it backed a bill designed to increase transparency in political ads as a way to combat disinformation.

More transparency

Known as the Honest Ads Act, it was introduced in Congress in response to evidence that Russia leveraged US social media platforms in an attempt to influence the 2016 US presidential election.

Twitter also said it remains committed to launching a new platform called the Ads Transparency Center (ATC), which it said would increase transparency for political and issue ads by providing users with "significant detail" on the origin of each ad.

The ATC was first announced in October. Twitter said last week it will launch sometime after June.

Strengthening cybersecurity rules

In addition to meeting Zuckerberg on Tuesday, Ansip will meet with Google chief executive Sundar Pichai and lawyers for Twitter and Netflix to talk about data protection and online privacy, illegal content, disinformation campaigns, digital copyright and artificial intelligence, his office said Monday.

Ansip will speak Wednesday at a conference on cybersecurity and privacy and meet with executives from Information Technology Industry Council to discuss enhancing cybersecurity rules and cooperation.