News Update IT
Digital Services Act: recent developments
3 May 2023
On 16 November 2022, the Digital Services Act (EU Regulation 2022/2065 aka "DSA") came into force. We have written about the proposal before in our 15 February 2021 News Update.
The DSA introduced detailed obligations for various types of online 'intermediary services' – meaning not all types of digital services are covered, as the name may wrongfully suggest.
The DSA will apply from 17 February 2024. However, several requirements already apply and the European Commission has actively communicated about what it has been doing so far. Below are some relevant developments:
- Transparency obligations for online platforms: All providers of online platforms and search engines must publish information about their average monthly active recipients of the service in the EU, as of 17 February 2023 and at least once every six months thereafter. The numbers must also be reported, upon request, to the relevant Digital Services Coordinator and the European Commission.
- Guidance on publishing user numbers: The European Commission published guidance on how to calculate and publish information on the average number of active recipients. These numbers are particularly relevant to designate platforms as very large online platforms (VLOPs) or very large online search engines (VLOSEs). In addition, VLOPs and VLOSEs must comply with the DSA's most stringent requirements.
- Fees: The European Commission has determined the annual supervisory fees that intermediary services that qualify as VLOPs or VLOSEs have to pay.
- Designation of VLOPs and VLOSEs: The European Commission designated the first batch of 19 intermediary services that qualify as either VLOPs or VLOSEs, based on their user data. Within 4 months after notification of the designated decisions, the designated platforms and search engines need to adapt their systems, resources and processes for compliance. They are also required to set up an independent compliance system and conduct, and report to the Commission, their first annual risk assessment.
- Access to VLOPs' data by Digital Services Coordinator or Commission: The European Commission will adopt delegated acts by laying down the technical conditions under which providers of VLOPs or VLOSEs are to share data in order to be able to assess their compliance with the DSA.
If an intermediary service is not designated as a VLOP or VLOSE, the remaining obligations under the DSA will apply from 17 February 2024. An interesting exception to this strict deadline is the following:
- Trader traceability on online platforms allowing B2C contracts: Providers of online platforms allowing B2C contracts shall make best efforts to obtain the information required from traders on their platform within 12 months from 17 February 2024.
For any questions about the DSA, please contact Jurre Reus or Thomas de Weerd.