On 17 May 2021 EuroISPA hosted its second online event in the DSA in Focus series, which focused on provisions in the Digital Services Act (DSA) going beyond the notice and action processes, such as measures on codes of conduct, the know your business customer principle, trusted flaggers, and risk mitigation for very large online platforms (VLOPs). You can watch the full recording of the event here or below.
The event, which was made possible by LINX, featured a distinguished expert panel which examined the topic in great detail. It included Mr Prabhat Agarwal, Head of Unit in charge of E-Commerce and Platforms at DG CNECT in the European Commission, Mr Marco Pancini, Director of Public Policy at YouTube, as well as Ms Heleen Uijt de Haag, Deputy Director at the Dutch Digital Economy Department within the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. EuroISPA’s President Alexandra Laffitte moderated the panel, whilst Malcolm Hutty, Chair of EuroISPA’s Intermediary Liability, framed the conversation with introductory remarks.
Malcolm Hutty opened the session with several questions for the panel and general remarks. He welcomed the KYBC’s focus on marketplaces, and stressed the importance of codes of conduct. When it comes to the role of trusted flaggers, he challenged the proposal, asking whether the “concept loses value if the right to decide who is trusted is removed from the operator”. As regards risk mitigation and VLOPs, he stressed that the provision, as currently drafted, would risk to create uncertainty for businesses, as the list of risks is currently open ended.
When illustrating the Commission’s chosen regulatory approach, Prabhat Agarwal recognised the success of self-regulation in addressing emerging phenomena swiftly. However, he explained that the limitations of self-regulation have made it necessary to make binding some of the existing voluntary frameworks. In this respect he noted: “We continue to think that coregulation plays a crucial role and the DSA is not the end of it”.
Marco Pancini provided the audience with interesting details about YouTube’s trusted flaggers’ programme. He said that, thanks to such systems, whenever platforms receive referrals from experts these are taken into account with the appropriate level of priority. He pointed out that “YouTube’s goal is to leverage positive exchanges with experts, improving the quality of our content moderation activities”.
Heleen Uijt de Haag welcomed the Commission’s proposal, describing it as well-balanced. She appreciated that the main principles of the E-Commerce Directive, such as the limited liability for service providers and the county of origin principle, are maintained. When referring to the topic of trusted flaggers, she said that “we need safeguards to ensure the mechanisms are not abused, as this could have detrimental effects on freedom of speech online, and the right to privacy”.
Panellists then had an open discussion with the audience, focussing on issues such as the modalities to appoint trusted flaggers, the know your business principle, and ways to tackle disinformation in the context of the current pandemic.
EuroISPA would like to extend its gratitude to the speakers for sharing their insights on the new DSA, contributing to yet another successful DSA in Focus event. We look forward to our third session, which will take place in June, and which will focus on reporting obligations and transparency in the context of the DSA.
For further information on the upcoming events visit our dedicated webpage on euroispa.org/dsa-in-focus.