DSA Starts Applying to All Online Platforms in the EU

DSA Starts Applying to All Online Platforms in the EU

Starting today, all online intermediaries with users in the EU will be subject to the Digital Services Act (DSA). This act ensures that EU users are protected against illegal goods and content and that their rights are upheld on online platforms where they connect with other users, share information, or buy products.

All online platforms (except for small and micro enterprises employing fewer than 50 persons and with an annual turnover below €10 million) with users in the EU must take measures to counter illegal content, goods, and services, protect minors, empower users with information about advertisements they see, ban advertisements that target users based on sensitive data, provide statements of reasons to a user affected by any content moderation decision, and provide users with access to a complaint mechanism to challenge content moderation decisions.

In addition to online platforms, the DSA also applies to hosting services and online intermediaries, but with a subset of obligations. The 19 Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) and Search Engines (VLOSEs) designated in April 2023 (with more than 45 million monthly users on average) have already been subject to the DSA since the end of August 2023. Three other platforms designated as VLOPs in December 2023 have until the end of April to comply with the most stringent obligations under the DSA. However, they will have to comply with the general DSA obligations starting today.

Platforms not designated as VLOPs or VLOSEs will be supervised at the Member State level by an independent regulator acting as the national Digital Services Coordinator (DSC). The DSCs will ensure that these platforms follow the rules. They will supervise and enforce the DSA for the platforms established on their territory.

To ensure consistent application of the DSA and equal rights for users across the EU, the Digital Services Coordinators and the Commission will form an independent advisory group called the European Board for Digital Services. The Board will be consulted on the enforcement of the DSA, advise on arising issues related to the DSA, and contribute to guidelines and analysis. It will also assist in the supervision of Very Large Online Platforms and Very Large Online Search Engines and issue yearly reports on the prominent systemic risks and best practices for mitigating them. The Board will have its first meeting on February 19.