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A Business Guide to the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Its Impact on Terms & Conditions

The relationship between businesses and consumers is largely mediated by online platforms and services. Recognizing the need for a safer and more transparent online environment, the European Union has introduced the Digital Services Act (DSA), a comprehensive legislative framework that aims to regulate the digital space effectively. This guide is designed to help business owners navigate the complexities of the DSA, particularly focusing on the requirements related to Terms and Conditions (T&C) that are crucial for ensuring compliance.

Key T&C Requirements for Intermediary Services Under the DSA

The DSA imposes specific obligations on providers of intermediary services, with a strong emphasis on transparency, protection of service recipients, and prevention of unfair outcomes. 

Here are the essential elements that your T&Cs must cover:
  1. Service Use Restrictions: Clearly articulate any limitations on the use of your service by recipients.
  2. Content Moderation Policies: Describe the procedures, measures, and tools (including algorithmic decision-making and human review) you use for moderating content.
  3. Complaint Handling System: Outline the rules of procedure for your internal complaint resolution mechanism.
  4. Notification of T&C Changes: Inform users about any significant modifications to your T&Cs that could impact their service use.
  5. Provisions for Minors: If your service targets minors, ensure that the terms are explained in a manner that is easily understandable by this age group.

Additional Obligations for Online Platforms

The DSA also sets forth additional requirements for online platforms, including:

  • Misuse Policy: Online platforms are required to clearly and comprehensively detail their misuse policies within their terms and conditions (T&Cs). This includes providing examples of behaviors considered as misuse and specifying the facts and circumstances considered when assessing whether certain behavior constitutes misuse. Crucially, the policy must also indicate the duration of the suspension for such violations, ensuring users are fully informed of the consequences of misuse.
  • Recommender Systems: Explain the main parameters of recommender systems in plain language, including any user options to influence these parameters.

For platforms facilitating distance contracts between consumers and traders, the DSA mandates:

  • Trader Traceability: Ensure the collection of specific information about traders before they can offer products or services on your platform. This measure is designed to enhance the traceability of traders, particularly for those allowing consumers to conclude distance contracts. Providers of online platforms must ensure that traders can only use these platforms to promote messages or offer products or services to consumers located in the EU after obtaining the following information, where applicable:
    • Name, Address, Telephone Number, and Email Address: Essential contact details of the trader.
    • Identification Document: A copy of the trader’s identification document or any other electronic identification.
    • Payment Account Details: Information related to the payment account of the trader.
    • Trade Register Information: If the trader is registered in a trade register or similar public register, the name of the register, the trader’s registration number, or equivalent means of identification in that register.
    • Self-certification of Compliance: A declaration by the trader committing to only offer products or services that comply with the applicable rules of EU law.
  • Right to Information: Inform consumers about illegal products or services offered by a trader through your platform, including the identity of the trader and available means of redress upon becoming aware of the illegalities concerning such illegal products or services.

It is important to note that micro and small entities are excluded from such requirements.

Meet the DSA requirements 

Ensuring compliance with the Digital Services Act is not just a legal obligation but a commitment to providing a safe, transparent, and fair online environment for your users. 

iubenda’s Terms and Conditions Generator simplifies the process of creating compliant, user-friendly T&Cs tailored to your business needs. Our clauses are designed to address the basics, allowing you to select the appropriate clauses for your business model. By doing so, you can generate T&Cs that not only comply with the Digital Services Act (DSA) but also cater to the specific needs of your website, app, or business. 

👉 The tooltips connected to any clause in the generator will guide you. If you make the right clause choices for your business model, your T&Cs generated with iubenda will cover the requirements. However, some mandatory information cannot be generated with iubenda since it depends on the specific type of your website, app, and/or business and their related features. If this applies to you, please contact our support to unlock the custom templating feature, ensuring your T&Cs fully meet your unique needs.

It’s important to remember that compliance with the DSA is an ongoing responsibility. You must ensure that your digital services are in line with all applicable regulations, adapting as necessary to meet evolving standards and obligations.

Meet the DSA requirements 

Start using iubenda’s T&C generator today