EU reaches agreement on Digital Services Act

On 23 April 2022, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached a compromise regarding the text for the new Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Single Market For Digital Services (Digital Services Act) and amending Directive 2000/31/EC (Digital Services Act or DSA). You can find the text of the Commission proposal here

Together with the Digital Markets Actthe Digital Services Act forms one of the legislative proposals of the European Commission aimed at developing a fair, safe, accountable and open European digital market. The DSA introduces new rules for online digital players, such as intermediary services (e.g. internet access providers), hosting services (e.g. cloud hosting services) and (very large) online platforms (e.g. social media platforms, app stores, online marketplaces), and for consumers.

The DMA lays down new rules, obligations and prohibitions regarding the implementation of mechanisms to remove illegal online content faster (e.g. the possibility to “flag” illegal content), increased protection of consumers’ rights (for example by implementing effective safeguards for users, by incorporating certain guarantees e.g. concerning freedom of the press and freedom of expression, or by introducing a transparency obligation regarding algorithms in the context of online advertising), due diligence obligations for large platforms, and clearer liability exemptions that online intermediaries and platforms may rely upon.

The Commission proposal was published in December 2020 and after a little more than a year, a compromise has been found at EU level after trilogue negotiations. It is now up to the European Parliament and the Council to ratify the final text, which is expected to be published soon. The Digital Services Act will be applicable 15 months after entry into force or from 1 January 2024, whichever is the later.