Who’s Afraid of the DSA?

The Digital Services Act goes into effect for the largest online platforms and search engines today, writes Tech Policy Press staff writer Gabby Miller. From today, the largest tech companies must comply with the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA). But, many of the details of how the law will be enforced are still being worked out. The enforcement of the DSA follows that of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which went into effect on May 2. The pair of laws were passed last year to create a safer, more open internet and level the playing field for businesses. While the world looks on at how enactment and enforcement will play out in the long run, digital intermediaries must now settle into new DSA compliance responsibilities, such as making it easier to remove illegal content on their platforms and clamping down on disinformation, limiting certain data and targeting practices, and eventually providing data to independent researchers.  The laws apply initially to nineteen Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) and Search Engines (VLOSEs). The European Commission issued its first round of designation decisions on April 25, 2023 to seventeen platforms and two search engines that each reach at least 45 million monthly active users. These include social media and platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter; commerce platforms such as Amazon, Zalando, and Alibaba’s AliExpress; and the search engines Google and Bing.  Not every company was pleased to receive the designation. This summer, German online retailer Zalando and Silicon Valley giant…Who’s Afraid of the DSA?