European Commission Considering Modernizing Digital Services Framework

Jun 22, 2020 | Srivats Shankar

The European Union considers changing the scope of obligations for digital services and obligations imposed on them by the law

The European Commission has opened a consultation process for the development of a “Digital Services Act.” The goal of the proposed legislation is to modernize the obligations the law imposes on digital services. The proposed legislation has two main stated goals. The first objective of the proposed legislation is to frame clear rules on the responsibilities of digital services to address the risks faced by their users and to protect the rights of their users. This would facilitate cooperation between the supervision of platforms and guarantee effective enforcement.

The second objective is to propose ex ante rules that cover online platforms acting as gatekeepers, which affect users and competitors. The goal is to facilitate the gatekeepers to behave fairly and permit competition that allows for choice in the market.

This comes in response to the rapidly developing technology market, where people are increasingly engaging with as part of daily life. The goal of the framework is to ensure the safety of users online and allow businesses to grow side-by-side. Additionally, it also seeks to give effect to the E-Commerce Directive, which establishes the minimum guidelines for conducting e-commerce. This includes mandatory customer information disclosure relating to online contracting and communication, the internal market clause which subjects the e-commerce platform to the laws of the State in which they are established as opposed to where they are accessible, limiting liability when they are intermediaries, among other obligations.

The last date for submitting comment is September 8, 2020.

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