The DSA hurricane is here

Will the DSA change the internet forever?

Luiza Jarovsky
2 min readSep 6, 2023
Source: X (former Twitter)

Last week, the Digital Services Act (DSA) became legally enforceable for very large online platforms (VLOPs) and very large online search engines (VLOSEs).

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There are 19 companies that fit these two categories, according to the European Commission’s decision from April 25:

Very Large Online Platforms:
Alibaba AliExpress
Amazon Store
Apple AppStore
Booking .com
Facebook
Google Play
Google Maps
Google Shopping
Instagram
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Snapchat
TikTok
Twitter
Wikipedia
YouTube
Zalando

Very Large Online Search Engines:
Bing
Google Search

These companies will have to comply with a full set of obligations around transparency, protection of minors, content moderation, privacy, and more.

As an example, Article 34 of the DSA establishes that these companies will have to identify, analyze, and assess systemic risks stemming from their services — *including algorithmic systems* — such as

- the dissemination of illegal content;
- negative effects on the exercise of fundamental rights;
- negative effects on civic discourse and electoral processes;
- negative effects on gender-based violence, the protection of public health and minors;
- serious negative consequences to the person’s physical and mental well-being.

Especially in the context of the rapid expansion of AI-based functionalities, the DSA is an important step towards more algorithmic transparency and a meaningful effort to help make the internet a safer and fairer place.

We can expect that these rules, similar to what happened with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), will trigger a global regulatory wave towards a more transparent, safer, and fairer internet.

Talking about the GDPR, another important topic is how it intersects with the DSA. Dr. Gabriela Zanfir-Fortuna and Vasileios Rovilos from the Future of Privacy Forum have just published an article on the topic, check it out.

GDPR enforcement has been lagging behind, as Max Schrems made clear in our conversation in July. Let’s hope that DSA enforcement will follow a different path, as EU Commissioner Thierry Breton’s video suggests.

I am optimistic that the DSA is a positive step in making the internet a better place.

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Luiza Jarovsky

CEO of Implement Privacy, LinkedIn Top Voice, Ph.D. Researcher, Author of Luiza's Newsletter, Host of Luiza's Podcast, Speaker, Latina, Polyglot & Mother of 3.