The EU has named “very large” tech firms that will be targeted under the Digital Services Act.


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The European Commission has named 17 Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) and 2 Very Large Online Search Engines (VLOSEs) to be targeted under the Digital Services Act. It said these companies are being kicked out because they have more than 45 million monthly active users.

Companies that will have to comply with the tough new rules, which you can read more about, include Alibaba Ali Express, Amazon Store, Apple App Store,, Facebook, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Shopping, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube, Zalando, Bing, and Google Search. The last two are VLOSEs and the rest are VLOPs.

Now that they have been nominated, they must comply with the following rules within the next four months:

  • Further user empowerment:

    • Users will have clear information about why specific information is recommended to them and will have the right to opt out of recommendation systems based on profiling.
    • Users will be able to easily report illegal content and platforms will have to process such reports diligently.
    • Ads cannot be shown based on Sensitive data of the user (such as ethnic origin, political opinion or sexual orientation);
    • Platforms are required to label all ads and inform users who is promoting them.
    • Platforms are required to provide an easily understandable, plain language summary of their terms and conditions, in the languages โ€‹โ€‹of the Member States where they operate.
  • Strong Protection of Minors:

    • Platforms will have to redesign their systems to ensure a high level of privacy, security and safety of minors.
    • Targeted ads based on child profiling are no longer allowed.
    • Specific risk assessments, including adverse effects on mental health, will be provided to the Commission 4 months after nomination and made public at the latest one year later.
    • To mitigate these risks, platforms will have to redesign their services, including their interfaces, recommender systems, terms and conditions.
  • Moderate content with more content, less misinformation:

    • Platforms and search engines need to take steps to address the risks associated with the transmission of illegal content online and the negative impact on freedom of expression and information.
    • Platforms need clear terms and conditions and they need to be enforced diligently and impartially.
    • Platforms must have mechanisms in place for users to flag illegal content and process reports quickly.
    • Platforms need to analyze their specific risks and take mitigation measures โ€“ for example, to combat the spread of misinformation and unauthorized use of their service.
  • More transparency and accountability:

    • Platforms need to ensure that their risk assessment and compliance with all DSA obligations is externally and independently audited.
    • They must give researchers access to publicly available data. Later, a special procedure will be established for vetted researchers.
    • They will be required to publish collections of all advertisements served on their interface.
    • Platforms are required to publish transparency reports on content moderation decisions and risk management.

The Digital Services Act will be implemented through a “pan-European supervisory architecture”. It consists of a commission overseeing designated platforms and search engines, but also includes a national digital services coordinator. DSCs will also be responsible for monitoring smaller platforms and search engines.

Stricter rules will mean that platforms and search engines will have to work harder to ensure they meet the necessary standards. No penalty was specified. In the announcement But last year Nevin reported that companies that break the rules could be fined up to 6% of their global turnover.


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