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Digital Services Act: upgrading the rules applicable to digital platforms

Eu travel tech welcomes the proposal for a Digital Services Act, which paves the way for a more responsible online environment, in particular the European Commission’s approach to keep the core  principles of the eCommerce Directive with a proven track-record – such as the Country of Origin principle and the absence of a general obligation to monitor. Many of the provisions go in the direction of increasing transparency, accountability and legal certainty

EU Travel Tech members consist of digital travel companies selling or advertising travel products and services to businesses and/or consumers. Our members’ content tends to pose very different risks compared to other types of digital business models, notably social media platforms or advertising-funded business models, where the incentives are very different.

The content displayed by our members tends to be purpose limited and does not lend itself easily to illegal activity. Fraudulent properties, hate speech in consumer reviews and illegal short term holiday rentals are examples of the types of illegal content that our members come across in their businesses.

The current lack of legal clarity around illegal short term rentals has created a very antagonistic debate and eu travel tech looks to the DSA to provide much needed clarity in terms of how platforms should address and remove this type of illegal content.

In view of the horizontal nature of the DSA, which by and large treats all illegal content in the same way, we believe that it is important to bear in mind the very different types and risk profiles of illegal content that are covered by the proposed regulation.

Going forward, we see an opportunity to further enhance a risk-based approach that would support a thriving environment for all sectors present in the digital economy – beyond social media platforms – which ultimately will allow consumers to benefit from a more responsible digital market, consistent with the overall objectives of the proposal.

Read our position paper below.