Five Things Everyone Should know about EU's Digital Services Act
The initiative’s goal is to update a 20 years old legislation while assessing challenges risks, and opportunities the new data economy is bringing to the single market.
Today (Sept, 8th) the European Commission ends the public consultation on the Digital Services Act package. The legislation will shape future rulebook on how digital services will interact with EU citizens, businesses, and institutions.
The initiative’s goal is to update a 20 years old legislation while assessing challenges risks, and opportunities the new data economy is bringing to the single market. The consultation aims to gather evidence in order to identify issues that may require interventions, as well as analyze possible upcoming initiatives that might need regulation.
What is it?
It’s one of the key actions on the Shaping European Digital Future’s plan. It’s a legal framework being designed right now to enforce fitness of competition and responsibility to organizations providing digital services to European Citizens.
What’s happening right now?
It’s still the early days of the act’s discussion. In February the European Commission published the first manuscript of its plan and opened a survey about legislation for everyone to answer it. After that, some form of legislation rulebook, either one amendment of 2000’s e-Commerce Directive or a complete revamp of it, should be proposed by the end of the year.
Why are they updating the regulations?
The current legislation was created in 2000 and is not up to date with the requirements for a modern digital services legal framework. In spite of all the great opportunities it has created, it is not comprehensive enough to protect citizens’ rights from the risks in the new data economy, like big tech platforms being used to promote massive disinformation campaigns, promoting hate speech, or all other types of illegal content.
What are the pillars of the new changes?
The proposal wants to clear the rules about the responsibility of digital services to protect users’ rights, the company’s legal obligations, and the effective enforcement of those. Another base of the legislation should be the proposal of law covering large online platforms, making sure they can be challenged by new market entrants and existing competitors.
Who should be paying attention to it?
If you are a European citizen or work with any digital services related business that provides services in Europe, you will be affected by the new regulations and should be aware of it. Even big corporations are paying attention to it, Google’s SVP of Global Affairs has written a blog post about its response to the questionnaire. There is still time to take a look at it, and maybe help to shape the decisions that will be made. The link for the public consultation is here.