In a press release dated 4 October 2022, the Council announced that it had formally adopted the DSA,
As we explained in a previous article, the DSA lays down certain responsibilities and accountability for providers of intermediary services, such as social media, online marketplaces, very large online platforms (VLOPs) and very large online search engines (VLOSEs). The rules become stricter to the extent that a company is bigger, which in practice means that larger intermediary services with significant impact on society (VLOPs and VLOSEs) are subject to stricter rules.
Most importantly, the DSA:
- lays down special obligations for online marketplaces in order to combat the online sale of illegal products and services;
- introduces measures to counter illegal content online and obligations for platforms to react quickly, while respecting fundamental rights;
- better protects minors online by prohibiting platforms from using targeted advertising based on the use of minors’ personal data as defined in EU law;
- imposes certain limits on the presentation of advertising and on the use of sensitive personal data for targeted advertising, including gender, race and religion;
- bans misleading interfaces known as ‘dark patterns’ and practices aimed at misleading
Stricter rules apply for very large online platforms and search engines (VLOPs and VLOSEs), which will have to:
- offer users a system for recommending content that is not based on profiling;
- analyse the systemic risks they create – risks related to the dissemination of illegal content, negative effects on fundamental rights, on electoral processes and on gender-based violence or mental health.
With the Council’s formal approval, the legislative act is now adopted.
After being signed by the President of the European Parliament and the President of the Council, it will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and will start to apply within fifteen months.
What can Loyens & Loeff do for you?
Digital technologies present companies with many online and offline business opportunities. However, they also bring about a whole new range of tax and legal challenges, from competition and intellectual property issues, to data protection and privacy questions. Loyens & Loeff has set up a dedicated and multidisciplinary Digital Economy Team. This firm-wide team unites top experts from our various practice groups in all of our jurisdictions. This integrated and dynamic approach guarantees high-end and efficient solutions for our clients covering all relevant legal and tax aspects of their business.
Over the past few years, the competition specialists in our Digital Economy Team have represented a broad variety of technology companies, from major online platforms to smaller but innovative start-ups. In this respect we have developed an impressive track record in providing legal advice on several technology related topics, such as digital commerce, block chain, fin-tech and big data.
It is our forward thinking and practical advice that helps our clients to stay ahead in the digital world and to find solutions to any (potential) competition problems that arise. In the context of our focus on the tech sector and our aim of thought leadership, Digital Competition Law in Europe: A Concise Guide (Kluwer), in September 2019 (second edition to be published in the next few months). This book aims to be an indispensable guide to quickly and accessibly acquiring in-depth knowledge in competition law in the digital sector, and a must-read for any practitioner or academic who encounters competition law related to digital markets. According to Kluwer, this book is ‘one of [its] most significant publications of recent years’.