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Getting the Digital Services Act right: 3 recommendations for a thriving EU digital ecosystem

Andreas Aktoudianakis

Date: 23/07/2020
The Digital Services Act (DSA) is a landmark EU legislation that will establish limits and obligations on the activities of digital services and online platforms. If the EU gets it right, it could set an example for future global internet governance. 

It won't be easy. The DSA will have to balance between enabling online platforms, big and small, to remain competitive on the one hand and addressing concerns about citizens' fundamental rights and market abuses on the other. 

To accomplish this, Dr Andreas Aktoudianakis argues the DSA should include the three following tools: 

(i) A double-incentive mechanism that fosters competition and transparency among platforms and digital services; (ii) a central EU agency that monitors and enforces the DSA across the EU; and (iii) strengthened national data protection authorities to safeguard data access regimes for the independent monitoring of giant platforms' opaque algorithmic black boxes.

Only then will the DSA be able to counter some of the most significant threats citizens face online: illegal and offensive content, targeted political advertising, disinformation, and propaganda. Only then could it bring more competition to the digital economy by curbing the giant platforms" abusive practices, free up space for newcomers with business models that favour transparency, and offer users a meaningful variety of choices. Ultimately, it would be beneficial for all stakeholders by clarifying obligations and imposing a consistent de minimis rule across the EU.

Read the full paper here
Photo credits:
Damien MEYER / AFP

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