What is the Digital Services Act?

The Digital Services Act (DSA) is a regulation in the EU that aims to harmonize the existing rules for online intermediaries and platforms to create a “single, uniform framework across the EU”. It regulates digital services that act as intermediaries facilitating the connection between consumers and goods, services, and content — such as online marketplaces, social media platforms, search engines, internet service providers, and cloud computing services.

The DSA establishes a legal framework that requires digital service providers to be transparent about their data collection and use and provide users with tools to control their data. It focuses on curbing illegal and harmful activities online, such as the trade of counterfeit goods and services and the spread of disinformation.

Important dates:

  • From August 2023, the DSA applies to the 19 largest digital service providers identified by the EC. 
  • 17 February 2024 is the stipulated date for all platforms to comply with the DSA.

The Digital Services Act (DSA) and its counterpart, the Digital Market Act (DMA), were introduced as part of the European Commission’s Digital Service package, to “establish a level playing field to foster innovation, growth, and competitiveness” in the EU and globally.