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The new regulations for digital services come into effect - this is how the user's position improves

Publication date 16.2.2024 9.34 | Published in English on 28.2.2024 at 14.06
Press release

The Digital Services Act (DSA), which will be applied in mid-February, aims to secure the position of users of digital services, such as various online communities and marketplaces. If you report suspected illegal content in the future, the service provider must deal with the matter and inform you of its solution. If you produce content or act as a seller through an online platform, you have the right to receive information and justifications about any kind of restriction of the use of service.

Digital service providers must comply with the new obligations from 17 February 2024. In Finland, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom is the main supervisor of the Digital Services Act, but certain obligations are supervised by the Consumer Ombudsman and the Data Protection Ombudsman. For very large platforms, the regulation entered into force in the summer of 2023 and they are supervised by the EU Commission.

"It's good to be aware of your rights, because when using digital services, you can come across a wide variety of situations and challenges that you need to know how to deal with. However, not all changes are visible to the user very concretely or require any kind of activity, but their purpose is to improve the security and transparency of digital services, as if from the inside,” states Chief Specialist Sirpa Sillstén from Traficom.

Everyone can contribute to combating illegal content

According to the Digital Services Act, everyone must easily be able to report to the service provider, i.e. to the online platform, if they come across content in the service that they suspect is illegal or violates the terms of use. The user also has the right to receive information about what kind of decision the service provider has made based on the report. You can appeal the decision if you wish. For this, the platform must provide an efficient and free internal complaint handling system.

Illegal content can be, for example, hate speech, incitement to terrorism, hidden advertising or copyright infringements. However, the authorities supervising the Digital Services Act cannot take a position on the illegality of the content, but illegality is defined by the legislation. The authorities’ supervision focuses on the procedures of the service providers. In problem situations, the user can make a report to the authorities if they have first discussed the matter with the service provider.

The content producer's access to information will improve

The new regulation also aims to protect the rights of content providers of digital services, whether they are individuals, companies or other entities. For content production, for example, all kinds of publications on social media and discussion forums or sales announcements on online marketplaces are counted.

If the service provider restricts the content provider's activities or content in the service, it must provide a notice and reasons for the restrictions. Restriction can mean, for example, that the service provider deletes the user's content, closes their account, prevents the use of the service or suspends money transfers. The justifications must also state how the content producer can appeal the decision.

The Digital Services Act also aims to secure the position of users with many other regulations, which for example improve the transparency of advertising and the protection of minors online. You can find more detailed information about the new regulation on Traficom's website.

Read more:

New obligations for digital operators - the goal is safer and more open online services, press release 12 January 2024

The Digital Services Act and powers of the Data Protection Ombudsman in the monitoring of online platforms

Rights and obligations of the user of online platforms on Traficom's website

Obligations for online platforms on Traficom's website

Recording and materials from the DSA webinar 19 January 2024 on Traficom's website (in Finnish)

​​​​​​​Information on Digital Services Act on the Commission's website

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