Online platforms start complying with EU Digital Service Act
Major online platforms have started publishing figures revealing their millions of active European Union users with the threat of significant financial penalties for failing to comply with the Digital Services Act.
The Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act aim to create a safer digital space where the fundamental rights of users are protected and to establish a level playing field for businesses across the EU.
Violations of the DSA can potentially be subject to fines of up to 6% of annual worldwide turnover of the preceding financial year making specialist insurance cover a crucial consideration.
Significantly, under the DSA, recipients are entitled to make claims against service providers for violations, including damages under EU and EU Member State law.
The DSA is primarily concerned with, online marketplaces, social networks, content-sharing platforms, app stores, and online travel and accommodation platforms.
Google currently enjoys 92.04% of the EU’s search engine market share and will be subject to the highest level of regulation
To date Amazon, Facebook, Google Maps, Google Search, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube have all declared figures in excess of the threshold. Commission spokesman, Johannes Bahrke, said: "The rules are clear. A number is a number. We call on those platforms that haven't done so yet to publish the numbers without delay.”
The EU DSA regulations mean:
• The DSA will be directly applicable across the EU and will apply fifteen months or from 1 January 2024, whichever comes later, after entry into force.
• If the platform or a search engine has more than 45 million users (10% of the population in Europe), the Commission will designate the service as a very large online platform or a very large online search engine.
• These services will have 4 months to comply with the obligations of the DSA, which includes carrying out and providing the Commission with their first annual risk assessment.
• EU Member States will have to appoint Digital Services Coordinators by 17 February 2024, when also platforms with less than 45 million active users have to comply with all the DSA rules.
• Providers of intermediary services that do not have an establishment in the EU but address recipients in the EU must appoint a legal representative in one of the affected EU Member States. The designated legal representative can be held liable for non-compliance with obligations under the DSA.
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