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Digital Services Act

16 May 2024

The Digital Services Act (DSA) became fully applicable on 17 February 2024 and marks one of the most significant updates to digital regulation within the EU since the adoption of the e-Commerce Directive in 2000.

It regulates online intermediaries such as marketplaces, social networks and content-sharing platforms who provide their services to EU users, irrespective of where the provider is located. It aims to modernise current frameworks and create a safer digital space. Its core components focus on content regulation and user protection.

The DSA has a broad reach and applies to a range of players across the digital ecosystem. The DSA groups providers of “intermediary services” into four new categories, each of which is a narrower subsection of the preceding category:

  • online intermediaries;
  • hosting services;
  • online platforms; and
  • very large online platforms/search engines (VLOPs/VLOSEs).

Some of the DSA rules apply to all four of these categories, others are limited to some of them whilst the highest tier category (VLOPs/VLOSEs) are subject to the most stringent obligations, given their reach and potential influence.

Failure to comply with the DSA can result fines of up to 6% of the worldwide annual income or turnover of the service provider. The size of the fine will depend upon the severity of the breach, and its duration and frequency.

Click here for an infographic summarising the key DSA obligations applicable to the four new categories of intermediary services providers.

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Digital Regulation Hub

This is a busy time for digital and tech firms. Among other legislation, the Online Safety Act and EU’s Digital Services Act are coming into force, and the UK’s Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill is becoming law. We have created this hub to help your business navigate the digital regulatory maze.

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