In late April, after negotiations, the European Union unveiled a new law, the Digital Service Act (DSA), which was enacted to crack down on dishonest or misleading advertising.
What the Digital Service Act (DSA) Does
According to Adweek, the law applies to all large platforms – those with 45 million or more monthly active users – requiring them to implement risk reduction measures, including analysis, to limit the spread of illegal content, propaganda linked to terrorist organizations, or any material classified as child abuse.
The EU means business with steep fines. If a publisher is found to be in violation after the enactment date of Jan. 1 2024, they could face up to a 6% fine of their total global revenue. If companies are found to be in consistent violation they could face a permanent ban.
Possible Implications for tech giants and in the United States
Adweek speculates that the regulations are likely to cause major publishers to push some of this major liability onto third parties distributing content on their platforms. However, the majority of responsibility will still fall on the large tech platforms, which may require them to seriously bolster their compliance shops. Bloomberg has reported that one of the hardest hit by these new regulations could be tech giant Meta, who is already under investigation by EU privacy watchdogs.
The EU legislation is historic with harsher punishments than the industry has seen before. Whether the U.S. will follow suit is a major question mark.
The U.S. Congress has not yet been able to pass any major piece of legislation addressing internet privacy. While the desire is there, whether or not legislators can come together on a solution is still in the air.
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Per the MRC,
“'Fraud' is not intended to represent fraud as defined in various laws, statutes and ordinances or as conventionally used in U.S. Court or other
legal proceedings, but rather a custom definition strictly for advertising measurement purposes. Also per the MRC,
“‘Invalid Traffic’ is defined generally as traffic
that does not meet certain ad serving quality or completeness criteria, or otherwise does not represent legitimate ad traffic that should be included in measurement counts.
Among the reasons why ad traffic may be deemed invalid is it is a result of non-human traffic (spiders, bots, etc.), or activity designed to produce fraudulent traffic.”