The European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) took effect on August 25, 2022, aiming to regulate Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
Introduced alongside the Digital Market Act (DMA) in 2022, the DSA is scheduled to be fully implemented by early 2024. The DSA’s scope goes beyond the digital realm, making sure that real-world illegal activities are treated as such online. The legislation mandates the safety of products, the removal of ads targeted at minors, and the establishment of transparent content moderation procedures and algorithms.
The DSA sets rules for VLOPs to address illegal content, disinformation, and societal risks. It also mandates safety of products, eliminates ads targeting minors, and demands transparency in content moderation and algorithms.
VLOPs that serve 10% of the EU population have additional obligations, such as data sharing, audits, and crisis plans. Non-compliance may result in fines or suspension from the trading bloc.
Google, Meta, and other major tech companies have said they are ready to comply with the DSA. However, some companies, such as Amazon, have disputed their VLOP designation.
The DSA’s impact extends to Facebook and TikTok, which are now subject to regulations covering aspects like child protection and the prevention of election interference. Even U.K. users are influenced by the DSA, as the U.K. Online Safety Bill is currently under development.