Europe Stamps Digital Services Act With Final Approval

Digital Services Act, DSA, legislation, EU

The European Council has officially approved legislation that aims to ensure a safer and more transparent online environment with greater accountability and protection.

The Digital Services Act (DSA), packaged with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), requires transparency from technology platforms as well as accountability in their role as disseminators of content, according to a statement from the EC on Tuesday (Oct. 4).

Both the DSA and the DMA were greenlighted by the European Parliament in July. The DSA outlines rules for content and marketplace moderation that strive to make it easier to remove illegal content, services or products while also increasing accountability surrounding removal decisions.

See also: Big Tech May Not Feel Impact of EU’s New Online Rules Until 2024

“The Digital Services Act is one of the EU’s most ground-breaking horizontal regulations and I am convinced it has the potential to become the ‘gold standard’ for other regulators in the world,” Jozef Síkela, the Czech Republic’s minister for industry and trade, said in the EC statement.

“By setting new standards for a safer and more accountable online environment, the DSA marks the beginning of a new relationship between online platforms and users and regulators in the European Union and beyond,” Síkela added.

Related: EU’s Disinformation Code Will Force Big Tech to Disclose How They Tackle Fake News

Under the DSA, social media, online markets, very large online platforms (VLOPs) and very large online search engines (VLOSEs) — platforms with over 45 million users in the European Union — must comply with the new rules that set out wide-reaching responsibilities and accountability.

VLOPs and VLOSEs will contend with more transparency measures and scrutiny regarding the workings of their algorithms. Heavier responsibility falls on platforms that have 10% of the EU population in their user base, and full enforcement is not expected until 2024.

The EP and EC agreed on a compromise on the legislation for both the DSA and the DMA in the spring. The DMA will be published in the EU’s official journal on Oct. 13. 

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