Changes on the Digital Services Act

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The Digital Services Act

Changes on the Digital Services Act

The Digital Services Act (DSA) aims to regulate the digital economy within the territory of the European Union (EU). Its scope of application includes online platforms, search engines, and social networks, although it is not limited to them, as it will affect various players in the sector.

This regulation establishes responsibilities for these platforms, such as content regulation, the removal of illegal content, and the protection of intellectual property and copyright online. It also promotes transparency in online advertising and the protection of users’ personal data.

Which service providers will be bound by the Digital Services Act (DSA)?

Article 2.1 of the Digital Services Act (DSA) states that the Regulation will apply to intermediary services provided to service recipients established or situated in the Union, regardless of where the providers of such intermediary services are established. This implies that service providers will be subject to the DSA with respect to those service recipients established in the territory of the EU, excluding users located in third countries.

Furthermore, Article 2.2 of the DSA establishes that “This Regulation shall not apply to any service that is not an intermediary service or to any requirement imposed on such a service, whether the service is provided by means of an intermediary service or not.”

The Digital Services Act (DSA) consists of a set of rules regarding online intermediation services. The obligations of different actors are tailored to their respective roles, size, and impact on the online ecosystem. Therefore, designated large platforms bear a greater burden of the imposed obligations.

What are the new changes that Digital Services Act introduces?

The Digital Services Act has introduced significant changes affecting Marketplaces throughout Europe, and these changes are now mandatory. The main established measures are as follows:

  1. Transparency on User Activity: As of February 17, 2023, and thereafter at least every six (6) months, public websites must disclose information on the monthly average of active service recipients in the European Union. This calculation is based on the average of the last six months.
  2. Information Sharing with the Digital Services Coordinator in Spain: If the digital services coordinator in Spain, defined as “the digital services coordinator of the Member State in which the main establishment of the intermediary service provider is located or where their legal representative resides or is established,” requests it, players must promptly provide information on the monthly average of active service recipients in the European Union for the last six (6) months. They may also demand additional information on the calculation, including explanations and justifications, but excluding personal data.
  3. Claims Handling: Companies must implement the necessary technical and organizational measures to ensure that claims submitted by non-profit organizations or associations meeting specific criteria are handled promptly and with priority. These criteria include operating on a non-profit basis, proper incorporation under the law of a Member State, and having statutory objectives with a legitimate interest in ensuring DSA compliance on behalf of service recipients.

Digital Services Act: notable changes

The Digital Services Act introduces notable changes, such as liability exclusion for platforms regarding user-generated content, subject to certain conditions. Platforms are required to act diligently in addressing illicit content for its removal. There is an obligation to verify business users for legality and reliability, allowing them to fulfil their obligations to authorities or consumers.

“Trusted whistleblowers” are recognized to report violations on platforms, and platforms are permitted to suspend accounts for abusive behaviour, with transparency and complaint mechanisms required for such suspensions.

Non-compliance consequences include sanctions, to be determined by EU countries but capped at 6% of the platform’s annual global turnover. Users can seek compensation for damages caused by platform non-compliance.

At Letslaw by RSM, our team og digital lawyers can provide guidance on your questions regarding this new European regulation and its implications on content and transparency that may directly affect you or your clients.

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