New rules to protect your rights and activity online in the EU

The EU’s online environment is becoming a safer, fairer and more transparent place on 17 February, when its landmark rulebook, the Digital Services Act, fully comes into force. This will see new responsibilities imposed on online platforms who have users in the EU, with the aim of better protecting those users and their rights.

Photo: European Commission
Photo: European Commission

The rules, which had already applied to a number of very large platforms and very large search engines since 2023, will start applying to all platforms and hosting services. This means they will all need to implement a number of different measures to empower users. This includes:

  • countering illegal content, goods and services by providing users with the means to flag such illegal activity
  • protecting minors, including a complete ban of targeting minors with ads based on profiling or on their personal data
  • empowering users with information about advertisements they see, such as why the ads are being shown to them and on who paid for the advertisement
  • banning advertisements that target users based on sensitive data, such as political or religious beliefs, sexual preferences, etc.
  • make it easier to submit complaints and contact them

To help the Commission monitor and enforce obligations in this new law, responsible authorities will help ensure that platforms play by the rules in every EU country. Together with the Commission, they will form an advisory body to ensure that the rules are applied consistently, and that users across the EU enjoy the same rights.