Who Is A Hosting Service Provider Under The DSA And What New Obligations Does The Provider Have To Meet?

Schoenherr Attorneys at Law


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In recent weeks, a new EU regulation, the so-called Digital Services Act, has come into force (the "DSA"). The DSA applies to intermediary services...
European Union Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment
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In recent weeks, a new EU regulation, the so-called Digital Services Act, has come into force (the "DSA"). The DSA applies to intermediary services offered to service recipients who are based or located in the EU, regardless of the location of the providers of these intermediary services.

In this edition of the newsletter, we will focus on hosting services. According to the provisions of the DSA, hosting services involve the storage of information provided by and at the request of the recipient of the service.

Given the broad definition of hosting services, many entities can be regarded as providers of such a service. For example, they can be:

  • cloud services providers;
  • online stores;
  • educational platforms;
  • entities that offer to create marketing materials, landing pages or pop-ups;
  • providers of an application that offers an account service;
  • news portals;
  • platforms where users have the ability to comment on or share user's content;
  • game publishers offering players the opportunity to share their works. 

The DSA imposes several obligations on the hosting provider, including:

  • designation of a single point of contact to enable communication with authorities and recipients (users) of services;
  • appointment of a representative (if the provider is not located in the EU);
  • determination of the terms and conditions for the provision of services under the regulations,
  • reporting obligations;
  • implementation of "notice and action" mechanism;
  • providing statement of reasons (justifying decisions to recipients);
  • notification of suspicions of criminal offences.

In relation to the above duties, it is necessary, among other things, to:

  • determine what type of provider you are;
  • adapt your terms and conditions to meet DSA requirements;
  • develop mechanisms to monitor illegal content, especially the notify and action procedure;
  • provide assistance in handling user complaints and preparing justifications for decisions.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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