What Does The European Digital Services Act Or Dsa Change?
A new European regulation on digital services has just come into effect on Friday, August 25, 2023. This text, also known as the Digital Service Act or DSA, will result in concrete changes to your favorite social networks. We will explain what will change.
Faster reporting of illicit content
The Digital Service Act, which came into effect on August 25, 2023, in the European Union, aims to enable quicker reporting of illicit content on major platforms such as Facebook, Google, TikTok, and X (formerly Twitter). A total of 19 of the largest social networks, marketplaces, and search engines are affected by this new legislation.
This European regulation on digital services is based on a simple principle: what is illegal in real life should also be illegal on the Internet.
The text targets content defined as illicit by national legislations or European texts, including child pornography, counterfeits and illegal products, fake news and disinformation, as well as online harassment and hate speech.
Unprecedented rules and sanctions.
Henceforth, major platforms must take action against all such illicit content, otherwise they risk heavy fines.
The Digital Service Act provides for fines of up to 6% of the group's global turnover for offenders.
As a last resort, in case of serious and repeated violations of the European regulation on digital services, web giants could even face a temporary ban on operating in the EU.
Concrete changes for internet users.
Even if the DSA will not revolutionize the functioning of Google, YouTube, Amazon, X, Instagram or TikTok, it will result in concrete changes on these different websites and social networks.
To comply with the European regulation on digital services, these platforms must now:
• offer internet users a tool to easily report illicit content
• quickly remove this content
• submit to an annual independent audit to verify that they meet these new obligations
• be more transparent by explaining the functioning of their recommendation system and offering alternatives without personalized recommendations
• ban certain forms of advertising as the DSA now prohibits them from targeting minors or publishing ads based on sensitive data such as religion or sexual orientation.
In addition, e-commerce sites must be able to trace sellers in order to reduce fraud.
Pioneering legislation worldwide
With the entry into force of the Digital Service Act, five years after the European regulation on data protection (GDPR), the European Union is considered a pioneer in terms of protecting Internet users. This European regulation on digital services is unparalleled in the rest of the world.
Provided that web giants play along, this regulation should further protect their over 45 million active users within the EU, whether adults or minors. A hundred people within the European executive are responsible for ensuring the proper implementation of these new rules.
Just like the GDPR before it, the DSA could become a global reference in terms of content moderation and user protection. In France, a law on the regulation of digital services will be studied in the National Assembly as early as September to transpose the Digital Service Act into French legislation.
Furthermore, the DSA will soon be complemented by another regulation on digital markets or DMA. The companies affected by this legislation on commercial practices will be officially designated on September 6, 2023. They will have a 6-month period to comply with these obligations.