Yesterday, the European Commission has formally sent TikTok and YouTube requests for information under the Digital Services Act (DSA).
The Commission is requesting the companies to provide more information on the measures they have taken to comply with their obligations related to protection of minors under the DSA, including the obligations related to risk assessments and mitigation measures to protect minors online, in particular with regard to the risks to mental health and physical health, and on the use of their services by minors.
TikTok and YouTube must provide the requested information to the Commission by 30 November 2023. Based on the assessment of the replies, the Commission will assess next steps. This could entail the formal opening of proceedings pursuant to Article 66 of the DSA.
Pursuant to Article 74 (2) of the DSA, the Commission can impose fines for incorrect, incomplete, or misleading information in response to a request for information. In case of failure to reply, the Commission may decide to request the information by decision. In this case, failure to reply by the deadline could lead to the imposition of periodic penalty payments.
Following their designation as Very Large Online Platforms, TikTok and YouTube are required to comply with the full set of provisions introduced by the DSA, including the assessment and mitigation of risks related to the dissemination of illegal and harmful content, any negative effects on the exercise of fundamental rights, including on children’s rights, and on the protection of minors. TikTok has already received on 19 October 2023 a request for information concerning the spreading of terrorist and violent content and hate speech, the alleged spread of disinformation and general aspects concerning the protection of minors online.