Major search engines like Google and Amazon now have four months to get in line with the EU’s new consumer-protecting Digital Services Act.
Now, five months on, the first list of “Very Large Online Platforms” and “Very Large Search Engines” to be impacted has been released. These include household names such as Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, YouTube, Google and Snapchat, and were chosen based on user data published in February 2023.
The next step for the companies will be compliance in the form of policy changes set forth by the DSA. They have only four months to implement the changes, meaning these behemoths will need to move fast, not something many large entities are good at.
The new rules are aimed at empowering and protecting end users, including minors, by requiring the targeted companies to look at their systemic risks and providing strong moderation tools. These include such things as simpler opt-out tools, better ways to report illegal content, clearer terms and conditions written in understandable language free from legalese, prohibition of advertising targeting children, added privacy and security measures (particularly for minors), and ways to address and stop the spread of misinformation and inauthentic use of their services.
Gender-based violence and advertising aimed at an individual based on data collected about sensitive topics, like their political opinions, ethnic origin or sexual orientation, will also no longer be allowed.
At the end of the four-month conformity period, the companies must show they have adapted their systems as well as to report to the European Commission (EC) with their first risk assessment study.
In addition, the EC is looking at ways to ensure service providers are effectively handling cases of hate speech and other devices that may affect users’ mental health.
For more information and a full list of the companies involved, click here.
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