The Digital Services Act (“DSA”) is nearing final approval. The DSA imposes new rules on providers of intermediary services (e.g., cloud services, file-sharing services, search engines, social networks and online marketplaces). As we reported in July, the European Parliament voted to adopt the DSA on 5 July 2022. As we wait for the Council to adopt it, there have been a couple of updates in recent weeks, which we set out below. We will keep this blog updated as the finish line approaches.
Corrigendum to the DSA
On 12 September 2022, the European Parliament voted on a corrigendum to the DSA, which includes a number of edits to the text that was agreed in June. These edits primarily reflect changes introduced by lawyer-linguists to clarify and refine the text’s wording, and to fix numbering issues. Notably, the edits state that online search engines are “intermediary services.” The corrigendum was deemed approved on 14 September 2022.
Commission Announces Plans to Adopt Implementing Acts
The DSA empowers the Commission to adopt implementing acts concerning practical arrangements for:
- the proceedings in Articles 69 (Power to conduct inspections) and 72 (Monitoring actions) (Article 83(a));
- the hearings in Article 79 (Right to be heard and access to the file) (Article 83(b)); and
- the negotiated disclosure of information provided for in Article 79(Right to be heard and access to the file) (Article 83(c)).
The Commission has announced that it is currently preparing an implementing regulation laying down rules on “all procedural practical arrangements in Article 83 of DSA,” and intends to adopt it in the fourth quarter of 2022.
The Council intends to adopt the DSA in a meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council on 4 October 2022. Once adopted, the DSA will be published in the Official Journal of the EU. Companies won’t be expected to comply until 1 January 2024, or 15 months and 20 days after the date on which the DSA is published in the Official Journal of the EU, whichever is later. Very large online platforms will be required to comply 4 months after they are designated as such.
* * *
The Covington team is advising many clients on how to prepare for complying with the DSA and other legislative proposals affecting technology companies. Please reach out to a member of the team if you have any questions.