Lead Forensics

Digital Services Act Stakeholder Event

On June 27th, 2023, the inaugural Digital Services Act (DSA) Stakeholder event took place, bringing together a diverse range of participants interested in shaping the future of Europe’s digital services. Workshops covering various topics, such as online marketplaces’ safety and use of data science in the enforcement of the DSA, provided valuable insights on how platforms can prepare for the regulation.

Our own CEO, Louis-Victor de Franssu explained how the vast amount of data produced in the context of DSA compliance can facilitate a new era of data driven decision making on all sides. In addition, Tremau’s team participated in the workshops throughout the day and gathered the most important insights to share with you. 

Key Takeaways 

High expectations for risk assessments: 

  • Regulators and civil society emphasised that the DSA’s systemic risk assessments need to be data-driven and not solely rely on aggregate statistics. Marginalized groups are often most at risk and may not be represented in aggregates. 
  • The DSA explicitly refers to the UNGP for businesses, and other human rights impact assessments that have been conducted on online platforms. Companies should refer to existing best practices for inspiration in building its own risk assessment methodologies – one example includes the risk-scenario based approach for auditing recommender systems.

Interpreting the online marketplaces obligations

  • Some DSA provisions related to online marketplaces are subject to interpretation, and the devil is in the details of the implementation. It is important to remember that these provisions apply beyond “traditional” online marketplaces, like Amazon and eBay, to any intermediary that facilitates trade, such as a sale facilitated through Instagram shopping.
  • Interplay between the DSA and other laws will be tricky: for example, marketplaces are also expected to collect trader data during the entire time that they provide services, and it is not clear how this squares with the GDPR’s data minimisation principle.

Don’t forget that intellectual property is covered by the DSA

  • IP infringement content qualifies as illegal content under the DSA and is therefore subject to the limited liability rules, but also the due-diligence obligations and for VLOPs, part of the risk assessment.
  • Importance of notice and action procedures was emphasised in this context: Platforms need to assess the effectiveness of their notice and action procedures specifically for IP infringements. It was suggested that online marketplaces should identify repeat infringers, app stores should introduce mechanisms to mitigate IP infringement, and search engines should minimize access to illegal content. 

Show me your data (access):

  • Company data today is structured for commercial, advertising purposes, not for research purposes. The diversity of data needs among different researchers cannot be underestimated. A challenge will be to boil these needs down to something tangible for companies to respond to. 
  • Under Article 40 of the DSA, Digital Services Coordinators (DSCs) will be the ones requesting data from VLOPs. However, it was noted that they may require assistance in prioritizing data types and development of effective ways to access the content. Consequently, the concept of establishing an independent intermediary body is being considered to address these gaps.

Decoding DSA’s (ambiguous) obligation to protect children: 

  • Civil society and regulators spoke about expectations for online platforms to involve both children and their parents in the assessment process to gauge their sense of online safety. Asking them directly was regarded as the most reliable way to determine their perception of their experience.    
  • Safety by design of services and exploration of different subscription models and functionalities which have child safety in the centre was emphasised as key in protecting young users. 

The role of data science in the enforcement of the DSA:

  • There was an agreement that the DSA will be generating an unprecedented amount of data from companies, and that it is essential that all parties make use of this transparency to build a data-driven understanding of the ecosystem. 
  • Regulators are investing heavily in data scientists and domain experts to make sense of the vast amount of information the DSA will produce so as to ensure effective enforcement. 

The key takeaways range from the need for data-driven risk assessments, careful interpretation of online marketplace obligations, and consideration of intellectual property infringement under the DSA, to taking into account the crucial role of data science in enforcing the DSA. A unanimous and important conclusion reached during the event, which garnered agreement from all stakeholders, was the utmost significance of adopting a “compliance by design” approach to ensure a safe online environment.

How Can Tremau Help You

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, Tremau provides tailored solutions to assist companies in achieving compliance with the DSA and navigating its complex framework. With our expertise in digital services and regulatory compliance, coupled with our content moderation platform, we offer comprehensive support to meet the unique needs of online platforms. 

Our platform, designed with compliance in mind, serves as a seamless pathway for meeting DSA requirements. Backed by a team of regulatory experts, Tremau simplifies your transition to global compliance obligations, ensuring the safeguarding of your users, optimizing content moderation efficiency, and enhancing your organization’s reputation.

DSA compliance is not only about regulatory fulfilment. It plays a crucial role in protecting your platform’s users, optimizing content moderation efficiency, and enhancing your organization’s reputation. Embrace the future of digital services with Tremau, where safety, efficiency, and compliance converge seamlessly.


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