EU Seeks Unprecedented Transparency on Child Safety as Meta and Snap Face Latest Information Request

The European Commission has officially requested information from Meta and Snap regarding their measures to protect minors on their platforms in accordance with the bloc’s Digital Services Act (DSA). Earlier, TikTok and YouTube received similar requests. Child protection has become a key focus for the EU’s DSA oversight, and Meta’s social networks Facebook and Instagram, as well as Snap’s messaging app Snapchat, are among the designated very large online platforms. The full compliance regime will not be in effect until February of next year, but larger platforms are expected to be in compliance already by late August. The recent requests for information specifically ask Meta and Snap for details regarding their compliance with obligations related to the protection of minors’ mental and physical health. The two companies have until December 1 to respond to the requests. Snap stated that it had received the request and is reviewing it, while Meta has also received previous requests for information from the Commission. The Commission has also issued an RFI on Chinese ecommerce giant, AliExpress, for information on compliance with consumer protection obligations, including preventing the sale of illegal products. The Commission has stated that their early focus for DSA enforcement is on areas where they see a need for rapid results, such as child protection and mitigation of illegal content and disinformation related to the Israel-Hamas war. The first risk assessments platforms have produced in relation to child safety show room for improvement. The Commission said it’s unlikely the EU will end up demanding a set number of moderators for each Member State, but they will apply pressure on platforms through transparency reporting. The submissions will eventually become more standardized as the Commission will be implementing an act that includes standardized reporting templates likely in early next year. Until then, the RFIs signal that the DSA is moving forward, and the Commission is keen to be seen actively flexing its power to obtain unprecedented data disclosure from the platforms.

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