The internal market and competition directorate of Luxembourg’s Ministry of the Economy (Direction du marché intérieur et de la concurrence du ministère de l'Économie - DMIC) has announced that companies providing intermediary digital services must, from 17 February 2024, comply with the new rules established by the Digital Service Act (DSA).

“Intermediary digital services” are any platform that allows users (individuals as well as businesses) to put their content online. This includes internet service providers, social media platforms, hosting services and even online marketplaces, Luxembourg’s Ministry of the Economy noted.

The DSA is a European regulation which aims to create a safer online environment, with the specific aim to protect consumers and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) on the internet. By adopting a harmonised and consistent approach across the 27 Member States, the DSA establishes clear responsibilities for digital platforms to prevent and, where appropriate, remove illegal content as quickly as possible such as the sale of dangerous products, inciting messages of hatred or even the sharing of terrorist content.

The new obligations vary depending on the role, size and impact of each actor on the digital ecosystem and include measures such as:

  • the requirement for platforms to allow users to report potentially illicit content;
  • the ban on targeted advertising aimed at minors;
  • greater transparency around recommendation and advertising systems, so that users understand the reasons why content is suggested to them, and to clearly identify sponsored content, comments or results.

Very large platforms with more than 45 million users in Europe are subject to stricter rules, such as carrying out independent audits and risk assessments once a year, the ministry added. To date, the European Commission has identified and designated 22 very large platforms, which, due to their great influence and daily use by millions of Europeans, are given increased responsibility for complying with DSA standards.

To ensure the proper application of the new rules, the DSA requires each EU member country to designate a coordinating authority. In Luxembourg, the Competition Authority will assume this role and will thus be responsible for monitoring the compliance of Luxembourg platforms with the DSA. To assist national authorities and ensure effective supervision, the European Commission is dedicated to monitoring the obligations of very large platforms, in particular those related to systemic risks, the ministry concluded.

More information on the new obligations is available on the websites of the European Commission and the Luxembourg competition authority.