The Digital Service Act is a much-discussed topic. It has many implications for businesses and consumers that need to be considered for all parties involved. The DSA creates a common foundation for doing business in the digital age and provides a legal framework for the various aspects of the Internet. The implementation of the DSA is therefore an important step in ensuring that businesses and consumers are equally protected. For companies, the DSA means that they must adapt to new rules and guidelines and adjust their business accordingly. There are many ways companies can prepare for the DSA to ensure they are compliant.
Companies first need to understand what the DSA entails and the impact it will have on their business.
But the best introduction to this is provided by the EU itself:
For the first time, a common set of rules governing the obligations and accountability of intermediaries across the single market will open up new opportunities for the cross-border provision of digital services, while ensuring a high level of protection for all users, regardless of where they live in the EU.
The full text is available here.
Therefore, another important element of preparation is to understand and consider the legal requirements of the DSA. The importance of these legal requirements cannot be underestimated; each company must review and, if necessary, adjust its practices to meet all requirements. Arguably, this will result in companies having to improve and optimize internal processes over the course of 2023 in order to comply with the DSA and be prepared by January 1, 2024 at the latest. The time frame of only one year should not be underestimated, as the first warnings can be expected shortly after the DSA takes legal effect. Some aspects of the DSA also concern the processing of personal data or the disclosure of certain information to customers. Therefore, companies may also need to consider whether strategic planning is needed to adapt their own business model.
The goals of the Digital Services Act
The Digital Services Act is a truly ambitious European legal framework designed to strengthen regulation of the digital market in Europe and provide greater protection for consumers. The introduction of the DSA adapts the existing legal situation in connection with online platforms and sets a framework for the exchange of data, the handling of online platforms and also for the protection of personal data. The goal of the Digital Services Act is to create a fair and transparent online environment in which consumers and businesses can benefit equally. The DSA is designed to allow companies to continue to provide their service, while ensuring that this service is presented in a fair and responsible manner. The DSA is also intended to promote fair competition between companies and ensure that platform operators are obliged to protect the interests of their users. So it’s up to every business owner to prepare for the Digital Services Act. It is also advisable to know and understand all relevant rules and comply with all regulatory requirements for compliance with the latest data protection regulation.
Impact of the Digital Services Act on companies
The Digital Services Act will have a major impact on companies that provide online services. The most important changes include new rules for liability and responsibility, the introduction of a “Code of Conduct” for online service providers, and new opportunities for the control and regulation of online services by the European Commission. The new rules on liability and responsibility mean that in future companies can be held responsible for the content published on their platforms. This is a significant change from the previous rules, under which companies could only be held liable for illegal content. The new rules apply both to content published by third parties and to content created by the companies themselves. The introduction of a “Code of Conduct” means that online service providers will be obliged to comply with certain minimum standards in the future. These include, for example, measures to combat illegal and dangerous content, to promote diversity of opinion, and to safeguard user privacy. The new possibilities for control and regulation by the European Commission enable it to order or even ban online services if they violate EU legislation. This is a significant increase in power compared to the previous rules, under which the Commission could only make recommendations.
Preparing your company for the Digital Services Act
The DSA is an important milestone for the digitization of companies and organizations. It is important that you prepare yourself and your company for the implementation of the DSA. Here are some steps you can take to be ready for the DSA:
- Understand the DSA: Before you take any action, you must first understand what the DSA entails and how it will affect your business. Take time to understand the details of the DSA and look at what rules and policies will be in place. This will help you better assess what changes are needed.
- Develop and implement a compliance strategy: The Digital Services Act sets strict regulations for the protection of personal data. Therefore, it is important that your company develops and implements a compliance strategy to meet these requirements.
- Work with external or internal legal counsel: It is important that your organization understands the legal implications of the Digital Services Act and acts accordingly. Therefore, you should work with their legal counsel to ensure that all relevant laws and policies are followed.
- Communicate with customers: The DSA affects not only companies, but also customers and users of digital technology. That’s why it’s important for your company to use open communication channels to inform customers about relevant laws or policies and provide assistance when needed.
The Digital Services Act is a great step toward digitizing the economy – but it’s more than just legislation! By taking these steps, you can ensure that your organization is well prepared for and benefits from the onset of the DSA!