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The European Digital Services Act (DSA). A New Era for Online Platforms

From February 17, 2024, the Digital Services Act (DSA) will change the game's rules for all online platforms in the European Union. The initiative, already applicable to giants with an audience of more than 45 million users, will become mandatory for a wide range of services — from social networks to marketplaces. Why is the DSA becoming an important step, and how will it affect the online services sector? 

The DSA is based on the fundamental principle: if something is illegal in the real world, it should also be illegal in the digital one. This philosophy creates a solid foundation for protecting users' rights and establishing transparent rules for online platforms. The DSA introduces obligations regarding content moderation, limits the use of personal data for targeted advertising, especially among minors, and strengthens the transparency of algorithmic recommendations. 

Who will be affected by the DSA? Essentially, anyone who offers space for exchanging, storing, or publishing content in the EU, from hosting services to social networks, will find themselves under the umbrella of this regulation. 

Special attention is given by the DSA to combating illegal content. The regulation defines it as any information, activity, or product that contradicts the laws of the EU or its members. At the same time, the DSA does not place all responsibility on services for disseminating illegal content but requires them to take active steps to detect and remove it, introducing mechanisms for reporting and reviewing complaints. 

Significant attention is paid to transparency and ethics in advertising. For the first time at the EU level, strict restrictions are established on targeted advertising, prohibiting the use of sensitive personal data, including information about minors, ethnic origin, political views, and sexual orientation. These measures are aimed at protecting users from unwanted and potentially harmful interactions, as well as increasing trust in the digital environment. 

The DSA strengthens the responsibility of online platforms for ensuring transparency and openness of their processes. They must create contact centers for communication with users and appoint representatives in the EU for international services, ensuring that they are available for dialogue and accountable under the law.

About fines: From February 17, 2024, the European Commission will have the authority to impose significant fines (up to 6% of the global annual turnover) on companies for violations of the DSA conditions. In critical situations where violations threaten people's safety, the Commission may demand the temporary suspension of the service based on a court order in the member state of the company's establishment.

Thanks to the DSA, users will receive new options to protect their rights. They will have the opportunity not only to identify advertising and its sources more easily but also to challenge platform decisions about content moderation through transparent and fair procedures. In addition, annual reports from platforms on their activities will become an essential means for assessing their impact on the digital environment and compliance with DSA requirements.

Our team of experts is ready to help you adapt to the new DSA requirements, ensuring full compliance of your activities with the EU legislation. We offer audits of existing processes, the development of content moderation strategies, and th e implementation of the necessary technical solutions to ensure transparency and ethics in your interaction with users.


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