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Companies see backlog in DSA transparency database

EU Commissioners Margarethe Vestager and Thierry Breton during a press conference.
EU Commissioners Margarethe Vestager and Thierry Breton during a press conference. Copyright Olivier Hoslet/AP
Copyright Olivier Hoslet/AP
By Cynthia Kroet
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Registering online platforms to take months, EU Commission says.


Only one online platform has been submitting notices about the removal of content to a transparency database set up under the Digital Services Act (DSA), EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said today (24 June) in response to parliamentary questions.

Under the DSA, which became applicable to all platforms on 17 February of this year, online platforms will have to submit clear and specific data – statements of reasons – on their content moderation decisions. All providers of platforms need to send this to the Commission's DSA Transparency Database for collection, which is publicly available and can be accessed by researchers and others.

This rule has already applied to the largest companies such as Facebook, TikTok and Amazon – designated as Very Large Online Platforms (VLOP) – as of last August. VLOPs have already been submitting their take-down decisions. 

However, for all those non-VLOPs – the smaller platforms that have fewer than 45 million active users per month in the EU – the 27 national regulators, or Digital Services Coordinators, are the main point of contact to get them signed up to the DSA Transparency Database.

“Currently, one non-VLOP platform is actively submitting to the DSA Transparency Database, while 30 non-VLOP platforms have been onboarded by their DSCs and are completing a testing of their submission systems in a sandbox environment of the DSA Transparency Database,” Breton said in response to a parliamentary question. Once the testing is complete, they can also submit their statements of reasons.

The Database shows that the non-VLOP submitting those statements is Joom, a Latvian group of e-commerce and fintech companies that moved its headquarters to Lisbon in 2022.

Infringement procedures against six countries

The Commission said that it is in touch with member states to set up the national authorities as quickly as possible, but expects the entire process to take months.

In April, the EU executive opened infringement procedures against three countries – Estonia, Poland and Slovakia – for being late in designating their DSCs and against three others – Cyprus, Czechia and Portugal – for failing to empower their DSCs with the necessary powers and competences to carry out their tasks. The official deadline was 17 February.

The national regulators are platforms' main point of contact in helping the Commission with collecting evidence on implementation of the DSA.

In an interview with Euronews in March, John Evans, the head of the Irish regulator Coimisiún na Meán, said that his agency alone expects to oversee some 400 other services - besides some of the biggest VLOPs which are headquartered in Ireland. 

"My guess would be that it’s proportionally higher than other countries," Evans said. Irish registered Big Tech companies include Google, TikTok and X.

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