EU safety laws start to bite for TikTok, Instagram and others


EU safety laws have started to bite TikTok, Instagram, and others.


As of 16 November 2022, the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) has come into effect, requiring major tech organizations and search engines to comply with new rules to safeguard user rights. The DSA mandates that companies with over 45 million EU users, including platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and Google, implement measures to protect children, prevent election interference, and address various potential risks. Although the UK Online Safety Bill is still in progress, the DSA has already been enacted, allowing companies time to ensure their systems are compliant.

Fundamental Changes and Compliance Efforts:

  1. Stringent Regulations: The DSA enforces stricter rules for massive online platforms and search engines, requiring them to assess and report potential risks, share details of their algorithms with regulators, and collaborate with independent researchers to share data.

  2. Algorithm Transparency: Platforms like Google and Bing must disclose algorithm workings, which decide ad targeting and content ranking, to regulators.

  3. Targeted Advertising Restrictions: The DSA bans targeted advertising based on profiling children, ensuring higher protection for young users.

  4. Data Sharing: Companies must establish data-sharing mechanisms with independent researchers, promoting transparency and accountability.

Companies’ Response:

  1. Compliance Commitments: Several significant platforms, such as TikTok and Meta (Facebook), have emphasized their commitment to compliance. They have allocated considerable resources, with over 1,000 employees working on ensuring adherence to the DSA.

  2. Implementation of Changes: TikTok stopped showing personalized ads to European users aged 13-17 based on online activity, while Meta apps ceased displaying such ads to users worldwide. Snapchat and Amazon also made changes to restrict personalized ads for younger users.

  3. Challenges and Legal Action: Some companies, like Zalando and Amazon, have contested their designation as massive online platforms and initiated legal proceedings. Despite legal action, Amazon has made adjustments to comply with the DSA.

  4. Mixed Responses: Wikipedia has changed in response to the DSA while maintaining that user experiences will not be significantly impacted. The Wikimedia Foundation supports the DSA’s regulatory approach and expresses concerns about certain UK Online Safety Bill aspects.


Implementing the EU Digital Services Act signifies a significant step towards enhancing user protection and accountability in the digital realm. Tech giants’ efforts to comply with these new regulations reflect the evolving landscape of online platforms and their responsibility towards users. As companies continue to adapt to the DSA’s requirements, its long-term impact on user experiences and the broader digital ecosystem remains to be seen.

Leave a Comment