More than a dozen of the world’s biggest tech companies face unprecedented legal scrutiny, as the European Union’s sweeping Digital Services Act (DSA) imposes new rules on content moderation, user privacy and transparency this month.
Across the EU, a host of internet giants – including Meta’s Facebook and Instagram platforms, Chinese-owned video app TikTok and a handful of Google services – are adapting to the new obligations, including preventing harmful content from spreading, banning or limiting certain user-targeting practices, and sharing some internal data with regulators and associated researchers.
The EU is seen as the global leader in tech regulation, with more wide-ranging pieces of legislation – such as the Digital Markets Act and the AI Act – on the way.
The bloc’s success in implementing such laws will influence the introduction of similar rules around the world. But researchers have raised questions over whether these companies have done enough to meet lawmakers’ expectations.
For now, the rules only apply to 19 of the largest online platforms, those with more than 45 million users in the EU. From mid-February, however, they will apply to a variety of online platforms, regardless of size.