This Friday, August 25, 2023 begins the Digital Services Act. Nineteen Tech giants are going to comply. But comply with what exactly?
You must be familiar with the GDPR, for General Data Protection Regulation, a European Union (EU) framework that has forced the Internet to adapt and ask you to accept cookies or not before consulting a site. Well his successor is here, and he is much stronger. Its small name: DSA for Digital services act. It comes into force this Friday, August 25, 2023 and here is an outline of what it may change.
Which sites will have to comply with the Digital Services Act?
19 Tech giants are affected by this implementation. Their common point? They exceed 45 million users, or 10% of the European population. Here is the full list:
- Amazon Store;
- Facebook ;
- Google Maps;
- Google Play;
- Google Search;
- Google Shopping;
- Tik Tok;
- Youtube ;
If you use any of these services, there is a good chance that you will see them evolve significantly in the coming weeks to comply with the EU text.
What the Digital Services Act will change
In concrete terms, the DSA is likely to make the Internet evolve in much larger proportions than what the GDPR was able to put in place. Here is an anthology of the most significant measures.
A new moderation
The DSA provides for the creation of “trusted flaggers”. Clearly, these will be expert organizations on a subject that will have priority when reporting content deemed illegal.
The text also argues that social networks should be more transparent in their moderation. Each user will have the opportunity to appeal an account suspension or termination. For six months after a decision, users will be able to challenge.
In the other direction, if a post deemed problematic by users is ultimately not moderated, users will be able to question this decision. We don’t really know yet what form this will take in practice, but the idea is to no longer place the difficult question of moderation on the sole shoulders of the platforms.
The algorithms will put water in their wine and show their little secrets
With the Digital services act, the giants of the net will be forced to explain to you why such and such content is shown to you. Also, you should be able to access a timeline feed on each social network. What regain a little control over the flow.
Advertising messages will have to be more easily recognizable, just like their sponsor. This provision certainly targets sponsored content in particular.
Also, minors can no longer be targeted by targeted advertising. The same goes for advertisements based on “sensitive” data: religion, sexual orientation. A radical advance, but one that we imagine difficult to implement.
Less dishonest interfaces
The DSA, in its article 25, also wants to attack dishonest interfaces. In particular, it targets the highlighting of certain choices that suit a platform for the benefit of certain others (hello the “do not accept cookies” button). Or repeating a request until the user cracks or making unsubscribing more complicated than it should be.
What are the Tech giants risking?
As often, if the giants do not want to comply with EU directives, the institution has provided for fines. Several types are provided for: 6% of worldwide turnover in the event of breach of an obligation of the regulations. In the event of inaccurate, incomplete or misleading information, platforms risk up to 1% of their global revenue. Recidivism could even lead to a ban on continuing to exercise its activity in the EU. It’s not kidding.
If you are passionate about the subject, you can dive a little deeper into its intricacies by consulting our complete file on the Digital services act (DSA). Our colleagues from Numerama have also produced an explanatory video that we recommend.