The EU executive has asked firms to “provide more information on the measures they have taken to meet their obligations regarding the protection of minors” under new EU digital services (DSA) legislation that came into force at the end of August, which imposes stricter rules on 19 large internet companies.
However, the request does not yet trigger legal proceedings.
Whip on the internet giants. The Digital Services Act is starting to work
If the Commission succeeds in proving that companies have been violating the regulations for a long time, they are at risk of heavy financial penalties. In extreme cases, fines can reach up to six percent of the global turnover of the companies concerned.
TikTok and YouTube must provide the Commission with the required information by November 30 this year at the latest. Depending on the evaluation of the answers, the EC will then initiate further steps.
What is DSA and DMA?
In 2023, two new laws came into effect, which are referred to as a whip for internet giants. These are namely the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA).
While the DSA aims to ensure transparency, user safety and accountability for online platforms, the DMA is a competition law setting out clear rules by which large online platforms can operate.
Both pieces of legislation will understandably have a significant impact on business across Europe and probably the world as they set new standards for digital consumer business.
Pressure from the European Commission
According to the AFP agency, the EC’s current announcement is part of the European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Thierry Breton’s efforts to make large Internet companies comply with the newly imposed obligations. Breton already stated in August that he would particularly focus on the protection of children.
Already in October, Brussels began to investigate TikTok, the social network X and the company Meta Platforms. He asked them to provide him with detailed information on the measures they have taken against the spread of disinformation and illegal content following attacks on Israel by the radical Palestinian movement Hamas.
The Chinese online retailer AliExpress is also being investigated in the EU, in connection with the distribution of illegal products, including fake medicines.
List of internet platforms covered by DSA
- Alibaba AliExpress
- Amazon Store
- Apple AppStore
- Google Maps
- Google Shopping
- Google Play
- Google Search
- X Network (formerly Twitter)