Insights Digital Services Act: update


Under Article 17 of the Digital Services Act (“DSA”), providers of hosting services must provide a clear and specific statement of reasons to any affected users of their service for any restrictions imposed on the user or their content on the ground that the content provided by the recipient of the service is illegal content or incompatible with their terms and conditions. In other words, providers must provide information on their moderation decisions such as whether they will be removing content or suspending or terminating the relevant user’s account. Further, Article 24(5) of the DSA requires online platforms (a type of hosting provider that disseminates user content to the public) to submit to the European Commission, without undue delay, the statements and reasons issued under Article 17 for inclusion in a publicly available database. On 26 September 2023, the Commission launched the database (previously reported by Wiggin). Only very large online platforms (“VLOPs”) (online platforms with 45m or more average monthly active EU users) are currently required to comply with Article 24(5); other providers of online platforms will have to comply from 17 February 2024.

On 31 January 2024, the European Commission launched a new user interface for the database and an interactive dashboard making it easy to access summarised information on statements of reasons submitted by online platforms.

On 30 January 2024, the European Commission announced that the first meeting of the Task Force on Age Verification under the DSA had taken place, attended by national authorities of Member States. The report states that the objective of the group is to foster cooperation with national authorities with expertise in the field to identify best practices and standards in age verification and build on existing measures at national level, including those resulting from the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, as well as considering relevant ongoing initiatives, current state of the art and market practices. The taskforce will follow up with another meeting after the DSA comes into force on 17 February 2024.

For more information, click here and here, and to access the Transparency Database dashboard, click here.