The European Commission announced on Thursday that it has taken a significant step in enforcing the Digital Services Act (DSA) by sending requests for information to 17 major tech companies, designating them as Very Large Online Platforms (VLOP) and search engines.
The companies in question include AliExpress, Amazon Store, Apple’s AppStore, Booking, Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, Alphabet’s Google Search, Google Play, Google Maps, and Google Shopping. Additionally, Microsoft’s LinkedIn and Bing, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, and Zalando were contacted.
The European Union has requested these entities to provide detailed information by February 9, outlining the measures they have implemented to grant researchers access to data crucial for upcoming EU and national elections. Furthermore, the companies are expected to outline strategies for countering the distribution of illegal content and goods sold online, reported Reuters.
The DSA, which came into effect in November of the previous year, mandates that very large online platforms and search engines take proactive measures to address issues related to illegal content and potential threats to public security. The European Commission’s move signals a commitment to ensuring compliance with these regulations and maintaining the integrity of digital spaces.
The EU’s focus on electoral processes is evident in its request for information regarding the measures taken by these tech giants to facilitate access to relevant data for researchers. This step aligns with the broader objectives of the DSA, emphasizing transparency, accountability, and responsible practices in the digital sphere.
This initiative follows the Commission’s opening of its first DSA probe in December 2023, targeting social media company X over suspected breaches of its obligations. The investigation underscores the EU’s dedication to scrutinizing the practices of major tech players and taking decisive action when violations are suspected.