The Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA), that have two main goals: to create a safer digital space in which fundamental rights of users are protected and foster innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the European markets.

Whom Does the Digital Services Act Regulate?

Regardless of whether the intermediary service provider is based in the EU or not, the DSA will apply to all suppliers of intermediary services provided to recipients of those services located in the EU. An intermediary service is defined by the DSA as any of the following, and this encompasses cybersecurity considerations.

A conduit service that handles the straightforward transfer of data supplied by a recipient via a communication network.

A Caching service functions similarly to a conduit service, with the exception of automatically storing data temporarily to facilitate effective forward transmission.a hosting service that includes information storage at the recipient’s request.

It is significant to remember that online search engines and platforms fall within the category of intermediary services. This covers companies that offer social networks, online travel sites, app stores, online marketplaces, and much more. ‘Very Large Online Platforms’ (VLOP) and ‘Very Large Online Search Engines’ (VLOSE) are two further subcategories of intermediary service terms that are governed by the DSA, which also imposes new requirements on these providers. Platforms that offer intermediary services must have more than 45 million average monthly users in the EU in order to be designated as VLOPs or VLOSEs. Although the DSA went into effect on November 16, 2022, it won’t apply to all regulated organisations until February 17, 2024, so Intermediary Services will have plenty of time to abide by the rules.

The Digital Services Act (DSA) of the EU introduces a set of crucial regulations aimed at fostering a safer and more responsible online environment. These key DSA regulations encompass:

Transparency and Algorithmic Accountability: The DSA mandates online platforms to disclose specific information, including removal orders, notices related to illegal content, and insights into their automated content moderation tools, including error rates and moderator training. Additionally, Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) are required to grant access to their algorithms for monitoring by the European Commission and EU Member States.

Response to Illegal Content: The DSA establishes consistent criteria for issuing notices and taking actions in response to illegal content. These criteria also outline circumstances under which Intermediary Services can be held accountable for such content. Moreover, the DSA enforces the removal of content targeting cyber victims, prioritizing the diligent and good-faith removal of illegal content over general content moderation.

Ban on Targeting Using Sensitive Data: The DSA imposes a significant obligation on Intermediary Services by prohibiting the generation of targeted advertisements through the profiling of sensitive data, such as sexual orientation or political opinions.

Enhanced Transparency for Users: The opaque content distribution structure on online platforms has been a substantial concern for users. To address this, the DSA compels platforms to disclose the parameters of their content recommender systems, granting users the ability to understand the principles behind content recommendations. Furthermore, the DSA enhances user rights by enabling customization of these systems and exploring non-profiling-based alternatives.

Verification and Prevention: The DSA places an obligation on Online Marketplaces to verify and validate the legitimacy of merchants selling products or services on their platforms. It necessitates online platforms to implement measures preventing the listing of illegal goods or services.

Obligations on Search Engine Platforms: Search Engine Operators are mandated by the DSA to remove links on their platforms that direct users to illegal online content.

The DSA, therefore, introduces numerous obligations on Intermediaries with a focus on upholding fundamental rights such as freedom of expression, information, and thought, ultimately safeguarding individuals from manipulation. In addition to these obligations, the regulation introduces safeguards to enhance access to effective remedies. This includes intermediaries establishing direct communication channels with users and providing explanations for content restrictions. The DSA implements a three-tiered grievance mechanism, ensuring internal complaint handling, out-of-court dispute resolution, and access to judicial redress. As a result, the DSA not only regulates Intermediaries but also facilitates effective redress for users.

In conclusion, the EU Digital Services Act signifies a significant stride for the European Union and the global community in terms of regulating Intermediaries. The proliferation of Online Platforms and Intermediaries has raised concerns about digital safety, and the DSA aims to address these concerns. While it officially came into force on November 16, 2022, it will apply to all regulated entities on February 17, 2024. The DSA strives to hold Intermediaries accountable for information while simultaneously promoting transparency and protecting users’ rights.

In today’s digital landscape, safeguarding your data privacy is of utmost importance. Never underestimate the significance of your online security and personal information. At Tsaaro, we understand the paramount importance of data protection. Our dedicated team of privacy experts is ready to guide you through the intricacies of data privacy.

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