The Digital Services Act: Ensuring a Safe and Accountable Online Environment


The time of platforms behaving like they are ‘too big to care’ is coming to an end. Today, the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) has come into force. It aims to ensure a safe and accountable online environment with a common set of rules on intermediary digital platforms that modernises the e-Commerce Directive.


The DSA applies to providers of these platforms, including cloud and other internet service providers, search engines, social media and other online platforms, as well as market places. The DSA has extraterritorial effect. The DSA bans dark pattens, being the on the use of misleading practices and interfaces. It also bans advertising to minors or based on special category of data. The DSA determines the liability regime and additional obligations related to the spreading of illegal content. Furthermore, it sets additional, systemic risk management requirements for large online platforms with more than 45 million users. The DSA requires very large platforms to appoint qualified compliance officers.



Last but not least, the DSA sets transparency requirements for online advertising toward individual recipients, which should for once include details on the advertising buyer and parameters used to determine the recipient to whom the advertisement is displayed. Some provisions of the DSA will apply from today, such as (A) transparency reporting obligations for providers of online platforms, (B) designation of very large online platforms, and (C) implementation, cooperation, sanctions and enforcement. For the other part, the DSA will be applicable from 17 February 2024, so you have some to time to prepare. Better start today!


These acts and actions all arise out of the Europe Fit for the Digital Age, and EU Digital Decade 2030 (DD2030) vision. It has an integrated approach with DD2030 targets and objectives, based on Declaration on Digital Rights & Principles, and related objectives and targets. These all put people at the centre, and empowering people, public and private sectors and society at large with a new generation of technology and the ability to improve the quality of life; human-centred, resilient, trustworthy, sustainable, sovereign, and accountable.


What does this mean for your organisation? What for your relationship with your customers, users, partners, vendors and other stakeholders in your ecosystem and supply chain? What is your readiness level? What are the opportunities for you? How to augment those while preparing and mitigating risks? To learn more, please contact us at your convenience.