What happened:

On 27 October 2022, Regulation (EU) 2022/2065 on a single market for digital services and amending Directive 2000/31/EC (Digital Services Act) (DSA) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (Official Journal).

What’s next?

The DSA comes into force 20 days after publication (16 November 2022).

Following this, online platforms (including those offering services to consumers or business users in an EU Member State) will need to report average monthly user numbers by 17 February 2023. The European Commission will then designate certain service providers as “very large online platforms” and “very large online search engines”. The designated service providers will have four months to comply with the DSA after being formally notified of the designation, if this date is before 17 February 2024.

Other in-scope services will need to comply with most of the DSA’s provisions from 17 February 2024.

Advertising considerations

From an advertising perspective, obligations for certain services include:

  • ensuring advertisements are easily recognisable as such;
  • providing details of the advertiser and the target audience of an advertisement to users;
  • maintaining a repository of advertisements shown on the service, including information about each advertisement;
  • adapting advertising systems where required to mitigate risks identified in risk assessments; and
  • restrictions on the use of profiling for targeting advertising where the service provider is reasonably aware that the user is a minor and profiling uses special categories of personal data (as defined in the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679).

Voluntary codes of conduct for online advertising are also expected to be drawn up by service providers and others involved in online advertiser (for example, programmatic advertising services), with the support of the European Commission, in due course.

Why this matters:

The DSA is the EU’s flagship online safety legislation that affects a broad range of online services (namely intermediary services, hosting services, online platforms and very large online platforms). Failure to comply with the DSA can result in fines of up to 6% of annual worldwide turnover, and users also have the right to take direct action against service providers.