From August 25, the European Commission will require 19 large platforms and search engines to comply with new rules regarding content on the Internet. The institution announced that it has made the first decisions on listing companies under the Digital Services Act (DSA), writes Ars Technica.
The list includes YouTube, Google Search, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Shopping, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, App Store, Bing, TikTok, Twitter, Wikipedia, Alibaba AliExpress, Booking.com, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat and Zalando.
According to the requirements for companies, their users will receive clear information about why certain information is recommended to them and will have the right to opt out of recommendation systems based on profiling.
Users will also be able to easily report illegal content, and platforms should handle such reports diligently. At the same time, companies must label all advertising and inform users about who is promoting it. In addition, platforms must provide a clear, simple statement of their terms and conditions in the languages of the EU Member States in which they operate.
Companies have four months to fulfill the full set of new obligations, otherwise they face huge fines. Platforms will also have until August 25 to submit their first annual risk assessment, and their risk mitigation plans will be subject to independent audit and oversight by the EC.
“Platforms will have to identify, analyse and mitigate a wide array of systemic risks ranging from how illegal content and disinformation can be amplified on their services, to the impact on the freedom of expression and media freedom,” the EC said. “Similarly, specific risks around gender-based violence online and the protection of minors online and their mental health must be assessed and mitigated.”
Platforms will need to redesign their services, including interfaces, recommendation systems, terms and conditions, to mitigate these risks.
“Thanks to the Digital Services Act, European citizens and businesses will benefit from a safer Internet,” European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton said in a video posted on Twitter. “As of the 25th of August, online platforms and search engines with more than 45 million active users in the EU will have stronger obligations, because with great scale comes great responsibility.”
We remind you that the Digital Services Act complements the EU Digital Markets Act, which entered into force on November 1, 2022.