Putting collective intelligence to the enforcement of the Digital Services Act

This report by Dr. Suzanne Vergnolle (Associate Professor in Technology Law) provides organisations, policy makers, and regulators with key recommendations and expert advice on cooperation mechanisms in order to ensure CSOs are fully involved in the DSA’s enforcement.

Executive Summary

In 2022, the European Union adopted the DSA (Digital Services Act), a landmark regulation which aims to foster a safer digital space. The DSA sets rules for a “safe, predictable and trusted online environment”. More specifically, the regulation reconciles the liability exemption of intermediary services with new due diligence obligations for mitigating the risks intermediary services create for society, including phenomena like hate speech, discrimination, and disinformation.

Some of the new rules have real potential to improve online services practices, but their actual impact will only be as good as their implementation and enforcement. Enforcement involves various actors in a maze of roles and responsibilities. Each Member State has to designate one or more authorities tasked with enforcing the DSA which will then be coordinated by the national Digital Services Coordinator. National supervisory authorities are responsible for overseeing the providers of intermediary services, including online platforms established in their countries. For services with more than 45 million monthly active users in the European Union,5 designated as VLOPs (Very Large Online Platforms) or VLOSEs (Very Large Online Search Engines), the Commission (European Commission) has exclusive supervision of their due diligence obligations.

As national and EU authorities get ready to take on complex tasks to enforce the regulation, CSOs (Civil Society Organisations) are advocating for strong enforcement, and getting organised to assist regulators in this endeavour.

To read the full report, please click on this link.

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