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EU Digital Services Act: Impact on companies


Digital Service Act European Union

“The whole logic of our rules is to ensure that technology serves people and the societies that we live in – not the other way around. The Digital Services Act will bring about meaningful transparency and accountability of platforms and search engines and give consumers more control over their online lives. The designations made today are a huge step forward to making that happen.”

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age – 04/25/2023

The Digital Services Act (DSA), or the Digital Services Act, came into force on November 16, 2022 . However, companies still have to fulfill some obligations by the next deadline on February 17, 2024 .

The law applies to all digital services that connect consumers with goods, services or products, especially to “very large online platforms and search engines” such as Google, explains the EU Commission. The DSA is part of the EU digital strategy “Europe fit for the digital age”. However, it is only a matter of time before these laws affect the entire industry. Therefore, it may be beneficial for your company to apply these rules now.

This is what the statement on the official website of the European Commission says:

“Micro and small companies will have obligations proportionate to their ability and size while ensuring they remain accountable. In addition, even if micro and small companies grow significantly, they would benefit from a targeted exemption from a set of obligations during a transitional 12-month period.”

Translated from English: Micro and small businesses will have obligations commensurate with their capabilities and size while ensuring they remain accountable. And even if micro and small businesses grow significantly, they will be exempt from a number of obligations during a 12-month transition period.

The aim of the Digital Services Act is to promote a safer online environment , particularly under the responsibility of the very large online platforms

  • Consumers and their fundamental rights are better protected on the Internet
  • Creating a strong framework for transparency and accountability of online platforms
  • Promoting innovation , growth and competitiveness in the market.

What should that look like? The affected online platforms must change their practices and take certain measures, such as: B:

  • Platforms must ban advertising directed at children .
  • give users the option not to receive recommendations based on profiling
  • Adapt measures against abusive advertising and counter-advertising
  • Reporting Violations

The full official list of measures can be found here .

The following 17 Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) and 2 Very Large Online Search Engines (VLOSEs) must comply with the DSA:

  • Alibaba AliExpress
  • Amazon Store
  • Apple App Store
  • Booking.com
  • Facebook
  • Google Play
  • Google Maps
  • Google Shopping
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • Wikipedia
  • YouTube
  • Zalando

Very large online search engines:

  • Bing
  • Google Search

The impact of the EU Digital Services Act

  • For users/citizens
    • Better protection of fundamental rights
    • Greater selection, lower prices
    • Reduced exposure to illegal content
  • For companies
    • Greater selection, lower prices
    • Access to EU-wide markets via platforms
    • A level playing field for providers of illegal content
  • For platforms/providers of digital services
    • Legal certainty, harmonization of rules
    • Easier to set up and expand in Europe

How you can prepare now

If your company is not one of the very large online platforms, you do not have to respond to the DSA obligations yet. However, you will benefit in the long term if you adopt the following privacy practices now:

Inform and train your team

Make sure your employees, especially those responsible for data processing and compliance, are well informed about the DSA and its potential impact on your business. Using a dedicated consent management tool increases security.

→ Regular updates and subscriptions to relevant newsletters, regulatory updates or industry publications.
Tip: Subscribe to our monthly newsletter from consentmanager and you will be informed as soon as new data protection regulations come into force.

Conducting a compliance gap analysis

Assess your current data practices and compare them to DSA requirements to identify gaps and areas for improvement.

→ Work with legal and compliance experts to conduct a thorough analysis of your processes, policies and technologies. Create a comprehensive report that highlights the areas that need attention and allocate resources to fill those gaps.

For a quick compliance check, you can also use our free website scanner directly, which will provide you with a compliance report with suggestions for areas to focus on based on the laws that apply to your business.

Regularly review and adjust privacy settings

Regularly review the privacy settings on your websites and other connected platforms and adjust them to the level of data protection you need.

→ Take a few minutes to ensure in your cookie consent tool that you have aligned the following points to the general privacy policy:

  • Optimize your banner’s interface to make it clear, user-friendly, and accessible.
  • Incorporate opt-out mechanisms.
  • Implement granular consent settings.
  • Customize consent options.

Visit our free checklist to make sure you’re on the safe side with key privacy regulations.

By adhering to these practices, you will not only increase user trust, but also demonstrate your commitment to data protection compliance and be better prepared for future changes to data protection law should they be relevant to you.


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