The first 19 Internet services that have special obligations under the Digital Services Act have been named by the EU Commission. These 17 very large online platforms and two very large online search engines now have four months to fulfill all new commitments under the law. The Digital Services Act requires more rights for users, investigation of systemic risks, and protection of minors, primarily against hatred, hate speech, and illegal content on the Internet.
The list of online platforms includes Alibaba, AliExpress, Amazon, Apple’s App Store, Booking.com, Facebook, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Shopping, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube, and Zalando. Bing and Google Search were classified as very large online search engines. They qualify because they reach at least 45 million monthly active users.
In the future, the services mentioned must be able to clearly tell users why certain content is recommended to them. In addition, users must be able to switch off the underlying profiling. Sensitive data such as sexual orientation or ethnic origin should no longer be used for advertising. The tightened rules also affect the handling of reported illegal content. The Internet portals must also summarize their general terms and conditions in an easily understandable way.
Special protection applies to minors, and customized advertising is completely prohibited for them. Additionally, special risk assessments must be submitted for them, and these ratings must have the services checked by independent, external auditors. Violations of the Digital Services Act are subject to fines based on annual sales. According to the EU, this law is the first regulatory instrument of its kind worldwide and is also intended to set international standards for regulation in the area of online intermediaries.