Digital Services Act proceeds, European Parliament proposes new regulation

Press release 18.03.2022 12.28 fi sv en

The boy writes on a computer (Photo: Mika Pakarinen Keksi/Ministry of Transport and Communications)

In December 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for the Digital Services Act. The Act includes several provisions on increasing the safety, security and transparency of online intermediary services, such as cloud computing services and online platforms.

EU Member States adopted a general approach on the Digital Services Act in November 2021 and the European Parliament adopted a report on the Act in January 2022. In the report, the Parliament proposes new regulation to be included in the Commission’s original proposal.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has submitted to the Finnish Parliament a report on the Commission’s proposal supplementing the government communication.

It is difficult to assess some of the provisions proposed by the Parliament, because they contain no impact assessment.

The Government recognises the need for regulation on targeted online advertising, particularly in the Digital Services Act in terms of protecting minors.  However, the Government has reservations about the regulation proposed by the European Parliament on the processing of users’ personal data in targeted advertising on online platforms. The Parliament has proposed provisions on targeted advertising also for the Regulation on Protection of Privacy in Electronic Communications and for the Digital Market Regulation. It is the Government’s view that targeted online advertising should primarily be reviewed as part of the proposed Regulation on Protection of Privacy in Electronic Communications, for example in the provisions on cookies.

The Parliament proposes that the provisions of the European Accessibility Act be applied to online platforms. In general, the Government supports the regulation on accessibility of services, but has reservations about the provisions proposed by the European Parliament in the Digital Services Act.

In principle, the Government welcomes the provisions proposed by the European Parliament that aim to ensure that service recipients have the opportunity to make decisions concerning the services freely and autonomously without the services manipulating or misleading users.

The Parliament proposes a provision on intermediary services providers’ liability for damages. The Government has reservations about this.

As a rule, the Government welcomes proposals aimed at improving the position of media content on very large online platforms.

The Government supports the regulation proposed by the European Parliament aiming to prevent illegal content on online platforms with pornographic content downloaded by users.

According to the report of the European Parliament, the decisions of the out-of-court dispute settlement bodies would be binding on the parties. It is Finland’s position that Finland not adopt the proposal that decisions of the out-of-court dispute settlement bodies be binding on the parties

What's next?

Trilogue negotiations on the Digital Services Act are in progress between the EU Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission.

The aim is to conclude the negotiations and complete the Act in spring 2022.

Inquiries:

Sirpa Sillstén, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 50 469 8344, sirpa.sillsten@gov.fi

Roosa Patrakka, Coordinator, tel. +358 50 431 7036, roosa.patrakka@gov.fi

Sini Wirén, Director of Unit, tel. +358 40 507 0916, sini.wiren@gov.fi