EU Digital Services Act now applies to all but the smallest businesses

The DSA originally applied only to the big guys like Google and Meta. Now it governs almost all online platforms that reach a European audience.

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The European Union’s Digital Services Act, aimed at preventing the spreading of illegal goods, services or content online, originally governed only very large online platforms reaching 10% or more of the E.U.’s population. That is now changing with all but the very smallest businesses coming under the jurisdiction of the Act.

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees and less than 10 million euros in annual revenue will continue to be exempt. Otherwise, the Act will now constrain the activities of almost all online platforms operating within the E.U.

Why we care. The E.U. continues to be at the forefront of regulating the internet. From GDPR to the legislation discussed here, it has prioritized the privacy, safety and rights of citizens over the freedom of private enterprise. Because of the very nature of the internet, its actions reach beyond European borders. Brands in North America, for example, need to be cognizant of this legislation if they are reaching European citizens in Europe, just as they have needed to be cognizant of GDPR.

Dig deeper: An updated guide to GDPR

Key parts of the legislation. Here are some of the elements of the legislation that now apply to all but the smallest businesses with an online presence in the E.U.:

  • Mechanisms to be provided for users to flag illegal content.
  • Greater transparency for moderation decisions.
  • Opportunity to opt out of personalized content.
  • No advertising to minors.
  • No targeting based on categories such as ethnicity or sexual orientation.
  • Age verification measures and protection for children.
  • Measures to protect electoral integrity.
  • Traceability of businesses using online marketplaces.

More details can be found here.


About the author

Kim Davis
Kim Davis is currently editor at large at MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for almost three decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Shortly thereafter he joined Third Door Media as Editorial Director at MarTech.

Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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