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EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA)

  Jun 22, 2022

EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA)

Q Why is it in News ?

A The European Parliament and European Union (EU) Member States announced that they had reached a political agreement on the Digital Services Act (DSA).

Q What is Digital Services Act ?

Q Whom will the Digital Services Act apply?

Q What are  Key features of the Digital Services Act ?

A A wide range of proposals seeks to ensure that the negative social impact arising from many of the practices followed by the Internet giants is minimised or removed:

  1. Faster removal of illicit content: Online platforms and intermediaries such as Facebook, Google, YouTube, etc will have to add “new procedures for faster removal” of content deemed illegal or harmful. This can vary according to the laws of each EU Member State.
  2. Introduction of Trusted Flaggers: Users will be able to challenge these takedowns as well. Platforms will need to have a clear mechanism to help users flag content that is illegal. Platforms will have to cooperate with “trusted flaggers”.
  3. Imposition of duty of care: Marketplaces such as Amazon will have to “impose a duty of care” on sellers who are using their platform to sell products online. They will have to “collect and display information on the products and services sold in order to ensure that consumers are properly informed.”
  4. Annual audit of big platforms: The DSA adds an obligation for very large digital platforms and services to analyse systemic risks they create and to carry out risk reduction analysis. This audit for platforms like Google and Facebook will need to take place every year.
  5. Promoting independent research: The Act proposes to allow independent vetted researchers to have access to public data from these platforms to carry out studies to understand these risks better.
  6. Ban ‘Dark Patterns’ or “misleading interfaces: The DSA proposes to ban ‘Dark Patterns’ or “misleading interfaces” that are designed to trick users into doing something that they would not agree to otherwise.
  7. Transparency of Algorithms: It also proposes “transparency measures for online platforms on a variety of issues, including on the algorithms used for recommending content or products to users”.
  8. Easy cancellation of subscription: Finally, it says that cancelling a subscription should be as easy as subscribing.
  9. Protection of minors: The law proposes stronger protection for minors, and aims to ban targeted advertising for them based on their personal data.
  10. Crisis mechanism clause: This clause will make it “possible to analyse the impact of the activities of these platforms” on the crisis, and the Commission will decide the appropriate steps to be taken to ensure the fundamental rights of users are not violated.
  11. Others: Companies will have to look at the risk of “dissemination of illegal content”, “adverse effects on fundamental rights”, “manipulation of services having an impact on democratic processes and public security”, “adverse effects on gender-based violence, and on minors and serious consequences for the physical or mental health of users.”

Q  Is there Bar over Social Media ?

Q Are there any such rules in India?