Digital Services Act – what you need to know
On 23 April 2022, the European Parliament and EU Member States agreed on a proposal of the Digital Services Act (DSA), an unprecedented new standard for the accountability of online platforms regarding illegal and harmful content.
Proposed by the European Commission in December 2020, the DSA aims at better protecting internet users and their fundamental rights. It also defines a single set of rules in the internal market to help smaller platforms to scale up.
Based on European values, the DSA applies EU-wide due diligence obligations to all digital services that connect consumers to goods, services, or content. These obligations address various online intermediary services—including hosting services such as cloud computing, very large search engines and platforms—and vary depending on intermediaries´ role, size and impact on the online ecosystems.
More concretely, the DSA contains ad-hoc measures to:
- counter illegal goods, services or content online,
- empower users and civil society,
- assess and mitigate risks,
- and enhance the supervision and enforcement of very large online platforms.
After the formal approval by the European Parliament and Council, the DSA will be directly applicable across the EU and will apply fifteen months after entry into force or from 1 January 2024 (whichever later). For the very large online platforms and online search engines, the DSA will apply even earlier, i.e., four months after their designation.