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EU: Parliament adopts DSA, negotiations with Council to follow

The European Parliament announced, on 20 January 2022, that it had adopted, with 530 votes to 78, with 80 abstentions, an agreed text for the proposal for the Digital Services Act ('DSA'), having introduced several amendments to the European Commission's original text. In particular, the Parliament highlighted that the DSA aims to define clear responsibilities and accountability for providers of intermediary services, and in particular online platforms, such as social media and marketplaces. Notably, the Parliament outlined that it had introduced the following amendments to the DSA:

  • exempting micro and small enterprises from certain DSA obligations;
  • in terms of targeted advertising, the Parliament text provides for more transparent and informed choice for the recipients of digital services, including information on how their data will be monetised; refusing consent will be no more difficult or time-consuming to the recipient than giving consent; if their consent is refused or withdrawn, recipients will be given other options to access the online platform, including 'options based on tracking-free advertising';
  • targeting or amplification techniques involving the data of minors for the purpose of displaying ads will be prohibited, as well as targeting individuals on the basis of special categories of data which allow for targeting vulnerable groups;
  • in relation to compensation, recipients of digital services and organisations representing them must be able to seek redress for any damages resulting from platforms not respecting their due diligence obligations;
  • online platforms should be prohibited from using deceiving or nudging techniques to influence users' behaviour through 'dark patterns'; and
  • with regards to more choice on algorithm-based ranking, very large online platforms ('VLOPs') should provide at least one recommender system that is not based on profiling.

The Parliament is now set to enter into negotiations with the Council of the EU with a view to finding an agreement on the text.

You can read the press release here.