Preamble 41-50, Digital Services Act (DSA)
(41) In that regard, it is important that the due diligence obligations are adapted to the type, size and nature of the intermediary service concerned. This Regulation therefore sets out basic obligations applicable to all providers of intermediary services, as well as additional obligations for providers of hosting services and, more specifically, providers of online platforms and of very large online platforms and of very large online search engines.
To the extent that providers of intermediary services fall within a number of different categories in view of the nature of their services and their size, they should comply with all the corresponding obligations of this Regulation in relation to those services. Those harmonised due diligence obligations, which should be reasonable and non-arbitrary, are needed to address the identified public policy concerns, such as safeguarding the legitimate interests of the recipients of the service, addressing illegal practices and protecting the fundamental rights enshrined in the Charter. The due diligence obligations are independent from the question of liability of providers of intermediary services which need therefore to be assessed separately.
(42) In order to facilitate smooth and efficient two-way communications, including, where relevant, by acknowledging the receipt of such communications, relating to matters covered by this Regulation, providers of intermediary services should be required to designate a single electronic point of contact and to publish and update relevant information relating to that point of contact, including the languages to be used in such communications.
The electronic point of contact can also be used by trusted flaggers and by professional entities which are under a specific relationship with the provider of intermediary services. In contrast to the legal representative, the electronic point of contact should serve operational purposes and should not be required to have a physical location. Providers of intermediary services can designate the same single point of contact for the requirements of this Regulation as well as for the purposes of other acts of Union law.
When specifying the languages of communication, providers of intermediary services are encouraged to ensure that the languages chosen do not in themselves constitute an obstacle to communication. Where necessary, it should be possible for providers of intermediary services and Member States' authorities to reach a separate agreement on the language of communication, or to seek alternative means to overcome the language barrier, including by using all available technological means or internal and external human resources.
(43) Providers of intermediary services should also be required to designate a single point of contact for recipients of services, enabling rapid, direct and efficient communication in particular by easily accessible means such as telephone numbers, email addresses, electronic contact forms, chatbots or instant messaging. It should be explicitly indicated when a recipient of the service communicates with chatbots. Providers of intermediary services should allow recipients of services to choose means of direct and efficient communication which do not solely rely on automated tools. Providers of intermediary services should make all reasonable efforts to guarantee that sufficient human and financial resources are allocated to ensure that this communication is performed in a timely and efficient manner.
(44) Providers of intermediary services that are established in a third country and that offer services in the Union should designate a sufficiently mandated legal representative in the Union and provide information relating to their legal representatives to the relevant authorities and make it publicly available. In order to comply with that obligation, such providers of intermediary services should ensure that the designated legal representative has the necessary powers and resources to cooperate with the relevant authorities.
This could be the case, for example, where a provider of intermediary services appoints a subsidiary undertaking of the same group as the provider, or its parent undertaking, if that subsidiary or parent undertaking is established in the Union. However, it might not be the case, for instance, when the legal representative is subject to reconstruction proceedings, bankruptcy, or personal or corporate insolvency. That obligation should allow for the effective oversight and, where necessary, enforcement of this Regulation in relation to those providers. It should be possible for a legal representative to be mandated, in accordance with national law, by more than one provider of intermediary services. It should be possible for the legal representative to also function as a point of contact, provided the relevant requirements of this Regulation are complied with.
(45) Whilst the freedom of contract of providers of intermediary services should in principle be respected, it is appropriate to set certain rules on the content, application and enforcement of the terms and conditions of those providers in the interests of transparency, the protection of recipients of the service and the avoidance of unfair or arbitrary outcomes. Providers of the intermediary services should clearly indicate and maintain up-to-date in their terms and conditions the information as to the grounds on the basis of which they may restrict the provision of their services. In particular, they should include information on any policies, procedures, measures and tools used for the purpose of content moderation, including algorithmic decision-making and human review, as well as the rules of procedure of their internal complaint-handling system.
They should also provide easily accessible information on the right to terminate the use of the service. Providers of intermediary services may use graphical elements in their terms of service, such as icons or images, to illustrate the main elements of the information requirements set out in this Regulation. Providers should inform recipients of their service through appropriate means of significant changes made to terms and conditions, for instance when they modify the rules on information that is permitted on their service, or other such changes which could directly impact the ability of the recipients to make use of the service.
(46) Providers of intermediary services that are primarily directed at minors, for example through the design or marketing of the service, or which are used predominantly by minors, should make particular efforts to render the explanation of their terms and conditions easily understandable to minors.
(47) When designing, applying and enforcing those restrictions, providers of intermediary services should act in a non-arbitrary and non-discriminatory manner and take into account the rights and legitimate interests of the recipients of the service, including fundamental rights as enshrined in the Charter. For example, providers of very large online platforms should in particular pay due regard to freedom of expression and of information, including media freedom and pluralism. All providers of intermediary services should also pay due regard to relevant international standards for the protection of human rights, such as the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
(48) Given their special role and reach, it is appropriate to impose on very large online platforms and very large online search engines additional requirements regarding information and transparency of their terms and conditions. Consequently, providers of very large online platforms and very large online search engines should provide their terms and conditions in the official languages of all Member States in which they offer their services and should also provide recipients of the services with a concise and easily readable summary of the main elements of the terms and conditions. Such summaries should identify the main elements of the information requirements, including the possibility of easily opting out from optional clauses.
(49) To ensure an adequate level of transparency and accountability, providers of intermediary services should make publicly available an annual report in a machine-readable format, in accordance with the harmonised requirements contained in this Regulation, on the content moderation in which they engage, including the measures taken as a result of the application and enforcement of their terms and conditions. However, in order to avoid disproportionate burdens, those transparency reporting obligations should not apply to providers that are micro or small enterprises as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC and which are not very large online platforms within the meaning of this Regulation.
(50) Providers of hosting services play a particularly important role in tackling illegal content online, as they store information provided by and at the request of the recipients of the service and typically give other recipients access thereto, sometimes on a large scale. It is important that all providers of hosting services, regardless of their size, put in place easily accessible and user-friendly notice and action mechanisms that facilitate the notification of specific items of information that the notifying party considers to be illegal content to the provider of hosting services concerned (‘notice’), pursuant to which that provider can decide whether or not it agrees with that assessment and wishes to remove or disable access to that content (‘action’).
Such mechanisms should be clearly identifiable, located close to the information in question and at least as easy to find and use as notification mechanisms for content that violates the terms and conditions of the hosting service provider. Provided the requirements on notices are met, it should be possible for individuals or entities to notify multiple specific items of allegedly illegal content through a single notice in order to ensure the effective operation of notice and action mechanisms. The notification mechanism should allow, but not require, the identification of the individual or the entity submitting a notice.
For some types of items of information notified, the identity of the individual or the entity submitting a notice might be necessary to determine whether the information in question constitutes illegal content, as alleged. The obligation to put in place notice and action mechanisms should apply, for instance, to file storage and sharing services, web hosting services, advertising servers and paste bins, in so far as they qualify as hosting services covered by this Regulation.
Note: This is the final text of the Digital Services Act. The full name is "Regulation (EU) 2022/2065 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 October 2022 on a Single Market For Digital Services and amending Directive 2000/31/EC (Digital Services Act)".
Cyber Risk GmbH
Tel: +41 79 505 89 60
We process and store data in compliance with both, the Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection (FADP) and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The service provider is Hostpoint. The servers are located in the Interxion data center in Zürich, the data is saved exclusively in Switzerland, and the support, development and administration activities are also based entirely in Switzerland.
Understanding Cybersecurity in the European Union.