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    Published on August 31, 2023 last updated on August 31, 2023

    The EU's Digital Services Act (DSA) is now in action

    Less than a week back, the European Union’s Digital Service Act went into effect, stirring up questions for companies. While the legislation specifically pertains to individuals from the EU, its repercussions will undoubtedly extend to other regions across the globe. Major international tech corporations might opt for a unified approach to oversee content and could consider the EU's notably rigorous standards as a reference point. In the US, legislators aiming to impose regulations on large tech companies have already started drawing ideas from the EU's regulations.

    The European Union’s DSA was first passed in December 2020 to establish legal rules for digital services in the EU, mainly for social media, online marketing platforms, and search engines. The recent upgrade was necessary to create a safer online environment in which users, including children and minors, are safeguarded from data breaches as technology grows. It was announced that companies with more than 45 million EU users would face the toughest rules: AliExpress, Apple App Store, Amazon Store, Google Maps, Meta, etc. The current act has requirements such as risks related to illegal content, rights such as freedom of expression, gender-based violence, and consumer protection, to name a few. To comply with children’s rights, targeted advertising based on children’s profiling is forbidden

    “We’re bringing our European values into the digital world. With strict rules on transparency and accountability, our Digital Services Act aims to protect our children, societies and democracies. As of today, very large online platforms must apply the new law.”

    -Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission (Source: Twitter)

    Big companies have already made major changes in their policies and have rolled out new features to respect the DSA. Amazon now has a new channel for users to report illegal products and is providing up-to-date information about third-party merchants. Tik Tok has rolled out an additional reporting option for harassment, hate speech, self-harm, and other sensitive topics. Users are allowed to turn off recommended videos and ask the app not to track their movement while scrolling and exploring content. 

    The GAFAM giant, Google, has now made it possible for researchers to access more data to understand more about how its products, Google Search, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Play and Shopping work. 

    “And in line with Google’s founding goal of using technology to benefit the lives of people around the world, we will continue working to make the internet more transparent and helpful for all of us” 

    -Laurie Richardson, Google’s Vice President for trust and safety (Source: Coin Geek)

    Companies that don’t follow the rules could face fines of up to 6 percent of their global revenue and could even be banned from the EU. Some companies, such as Amazon and Zalando (a German retailer), have pushed back on the DSA and have filed lawsuits against it. Amazon claims that they already comply with the new enforcements, and Zalando believes that they don’t meet the criteria of a big marketplace. 

    Further on, the focus will be on another milestone law when the EU names the tech companies that would be "gatekeepers" under the Digital Markets Act (DMA) by September 6.

    Is this the start of a global change towards safety and transparency? Join the conversation in our Yes We Trust community, a free discussion group for data privacy professionals and enthusiasts, on LinkedIn:

    Go to the Yes We Trust community

    avatar Jivika Lillaney

    Jivika Lillaney

    Content writer at Didomi. I am a digital creator who loves to explore the world and tick off things on my bucket list!