EU Com­mis­si­on publishes Q&A on publi­shing acti­ve users under Digi­tal Ser­vices Act

Accor­ding to Art. 24 para. 2 of the Digi­tal Ser­vices Act are Pro­vi­der of online plat­forms and online search engi­nes requi­red, for each online plat­form or online search engi­ne they ope­ra­te, by Febru­ary 17, 2023, and at least once every six months the­re­af­ter, to publicly dis­c­lo­se the publish avera­ge month­ly acti­ve users. The duty Gene­ral­ly does not app­ly to small and medi­um-sized enter­pri­ses accor­ding to Recom­men­da­ti­on 2003/361/EC. Accor­ding to this, a com­pa­ny counts as an SME if it has no more than 249 employees and gene­ra­tes annu­al sales of no more than €50 mil­li­on or has a balan­ce sheet total of no more than €43 million.

As the Com­mis­si­on has recei­ved a lar­ge num­ber of requests for infor­ma­ti­on on the con­cre­te imple­men­ta­ti­on of the com­mit­ment, the Com­mis­si­on has deci­ded to publish, for infor­ma­ti­on pur­po­ses, a Q&A (Down­load) to address the most important points requi­ring cla­ri­fi­ca­ti­on (cf. the­se Com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on).

In par­ti­cu­lar, it is cla­ri­fi­ed that the pro­vi­ders of the online plat­forms and online search engi­nes con­cer­ned must do not report unso­li­ci­ted need to. None­thel­ess, in the inte­rest of trans­pa­ren­cy and to faci­li­ta­te moni­to­ring of the DSA, the Q&A asks pro­vi­ders to sub­mit by e‑mail to the Euro­pean Com­mis­si­on the infor­ma­ti­on to be published and the method used to deter­mi­ne the user num­bers. The email address is pro­vi­ded in respon­se to que­sti­on 3.

The infor­ma­ti­on should be published in such a way that it can be easi­ly iden­ti­fi­ed auto­ma­ti­cal­ly. A publi­ca­ti­on in a per­ma­nent­ly visi­ble link is likely to be sui­ta­ble, simi­lar to the prac­ti­ce alre­a­dy in place today for the data pro­tec­tion decla­ra­ti­on and the imprint.

As “acti­ve user” shall be dee­med to be any user (whe­ther con­su­mer or com­mer­cial user) who makes use of the ser­vice, e.g. by listening to con­tent or by offe­ring goods for sale on the plat­form as a com­mer­cial user. The term acti­ve user extends bey­ond regi­stered users. For exam­p­le, users who view available pro­ducts but ulti­m­ate­ly deci­de not to purcha­se them also count as acti­ve users. Dou­ble coun­ting (e.g., when the user acce­s­ses the ser­vice via dif­fe­rent domain names) should be avo­ided as much as pos­si­ble. Con­ver­se­ly, howe­ver, the DSA does not impo­se any obli­ga­ti­on to use tech­no­lo­gies that avo­id dou­ble coun­ting, nor does the DSA con­sti­tu­te per­mis­si­on to use such technologies.

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