What Is the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA)?

The European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) is a law that caters to the growth and competitiveness of businesses of any size while protecting consumers and their rights. It ensures complete transparency and protects users from illegal content while holding online platforms accountable. The new rules are proportionate, foster innovation, growth, and competitiveness, and facilitate the scaling up of smaller platforms, SMEs, and start-ups. The responsibilities of users, platforms, and public authorities are rebalanced according to European values, placing citizens at the canter.

Apart from citizens, the DSA refers to three other groups:  

·       Digital service providers

·       Business users of digital services

·       Society

The law promises to:

·       Ensure mechanisms and “trusted flaggers” to counter illegal goods, services, or content online

·       Force transparency of business users in online marketplaces

·       Protect users’ safety and fundamental freedom of expression

·       Ban certain types of targeted adverts on online platforms

·       Bring transparency measures for online platforms on a variety of issues, including on the algorithms used for recommendations  

·       Increase the safety obligations for very large platforms and very large search engines

·       Open access for researchers to the largest platforms’ and search engines’ key data, in order to understand how online risks evolve

·       Eventually, the new European Board for Digital Services will support EU countries in overseeing structures on the new digital landscape

According to official sources: Once the Act is formally adopted by the EU co-legislators, it will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and enter into force twenty days after its publication. The DSA will be directly applicable across the EU and will apply 15 months after entry into force or from 1 January 2024, whichever comes later. As regards the obligations for very large online platforms and very large online search engines, the DSA will apply from an earlier date, that is four months after they have been designated as entering the category of very large online platforms or online search engines.

To read more about the DMA and the impact the DSA and DMA is likely to have on the AdTech and MarTech sector, read here.

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