EU: Landmark Digital Services Act must be robustly enforced to protect human rights

In response to the Digital Services Act (DSA) that comes into full force across the European Union (EU) today and places obligations on online platforms and search engines to ensure respect for human rights, Alia Al Ghussain, Researcher and Advisor on Technology and Human Rights at Amnesty Tech, said:

“It’s a historic day for tech accountability. Today must mark the end of the era of unregulated Big Tech, and for that to happen, the DSA must be robustly enforced to avoid it becoming a paper tiger.

“EU member states and the EU Commission are primarily responsible for the monitoring and enforcement of the additional obligations that apply to Big Tech companies under the DSA. They must resist any attempts by Big Tech companies to water down implementation and enforcement efforts, and insist on putting human rights at the forefront of this new digital landscape.

Alia Al Ghussain, Researcher and Advisor on Technology and Human Rights at Amnesty Tech

“Big Tech companies have already contributed to severe human rights harms in places such as Myanmar and Ethiopia. European regulators must now ensure that these corporations do not continue to contribute to human rights violations and hold them to account should further harms occur.

To mitigate the human rights risks posed by social media platforms, the European Commission must tackle the addictive and harmful design of these platforms, including changes to recommender systems so that they are no longer hardwired for engagement at all costs, nor based on user profiling by default.”


The DSA aims to create harmonised rules for a safe, predictable and trusted online environment where fundamental rights are effectively protected.

Amnesty International’s analysis of the surveillance-based business model of many Big Tech companies contends that this business model is fundamentally incompatible with a range of human rights, including the rights to privacy, freedom of thought, and non-discrimination.