Digital Services Act proposal - Comparison between draft reports/opinions of European Parliament committees 19 July 21 Laura Sboarina

Cullen International compared the draft report of Christel Schaldemose (S&D, Denmark), rapporteur in the lead Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), on the Commission proposal for a Digital Services Act (DSA) with the draft opinions published by rapporteurs of the key opinion giving committees (CULT, ITRE, LIBE and JURI).

The comparison shows that IMCO, CULT and JURI rapporteurs are aligned on:

  • the need to introduce deadlines for removals of illegal content. While IMCO rapporteur suggests 24 hours for seriously illegal content and 7 days in other cases, the rapporteurs for CULT and JURI suggest just 30 minutes for illegal streaming of live broadcasts;
  • requiring providers to prevent items from reappearing (after removals following a notice). The JURI rapporteur proposes to impose stay-down obligation only on marketplaces, while the JURI and CULT rapporteurs want all hosting service providers to be covered and extend the obligation to items that are equivalent to the one that was removed.
  • making providers ineligible from the liability exemption if they infringe certain due-diligence obligations. The IMCO rapporteur suggests applying these provisions only to marketplaces, while the CULT and JURI rapporteurs suggest to apply them to all hosting providers and the  JURI rapporteur would also cover intermediaries that assists the user in "optimising, classifying, organising, referencing or promoting" the content or have control over it.
  • limiting the application of the so-called Good Samaritan provisions. The ITRE rapporteur also agrees with limiting the application of these rules, while the LIBE rapporteur proposes to delete them completely.
  • adding requirements for marketplaces to ensure compliance with product safety rules. The JURI rapporteur would also add requirements to address counterfeit goods.

While the LIBE rapporteur proposes to prohibit targeted advertising for all intermediary services, IMCO proposes to allow it only if the user has expressed a “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous consent”. Both rapporteurs propose to prohibit recommender systems to be based on profiling unless the user has given his consent. The ITRE and LIBE rapporteurs want to oblige providers to allow users to deactivate algorithmic selection processes (to see content in chronological order). The CULT rapporteur wants to add a duty of explainability for recommender algorithms.

Other interesting amendments put forward by the opinion-giving rapporteurs include:

  • removing editorial content and services by certified AVMS providers from the rules on the processing of notices (CULT).
  • including search engines, live-streaming (sharing) and private messaging services in the scope of certain rules (JURI).
  • adjusting the country of origin principle to explicitly give intervention powers on the authorities of the country of destination (JURI).
  • allowing member states to derogate from the future DSA to protect/promote cultural diversity and media pluralism, provided that these national laws are in line with EU legislative framework (CULT).

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