European Commission scrutinizes Amazon’s DSA compliance

Simona Mazzeo
credit: searchengineland

Brussels (Brussels Morning) – The European Commission has requested Amazon to provide detailed information on its compliance with the Digital Services Act, particularly regarding transparency, ad repository, and risk assessment, by July 26, 2024.

The European Commission has dispatched Amazon a request for information (RFI) under the Digital Services Act (DSA). The EU Commission is asking Amazon to deliver more information on the measures the platform has carried to concede with the DSA obligations linked to the transparency of recommender systems and their parameters, as well as the requirements for keeping an ad repository and its risk assessment report.

What Information Has the EU Requested from Amazon?

In certain, Amazon is requested to provide detailed information on its adherence with the provisions affecting the transparency of the recommender systems, the input factors, features, signals, data and metadata applied for such systems and options presented to users to opt out of being profiled for the recommender procedures. The company also has to supply more information on the design, development, deployment, testing and supervision of the online interface of Amazon Store’s Ad Library and backing documents concerning its risk assessment report.

The EU Commission states that Amazon must provide the demanded information by 26 July 2024. Based on the review of the replies, the Commission will consider the next steps. This could entail the formal commencement of proceedings under Article 66 of the DSA.

Why Is the EU Scrutinizing Amazon’s Recommender Systems?

According to Article 74 (2) of the DSA, the EU Commission can levy fines for incorrect, incomplete, or deceptive information in response to RFIs. In case of neglect to reply, the Commission may administer a formal request by decision. In this case, failure to respond by the deadline could lead to the imposition of periodic penalty payments.

Following its identification as a Very Large Online Platform and the Court’s judgment to reject Amazon’s request to discontinue the obligation to make its advertisement repository publicly available, Amazon is directed to comply with the full set of DSA obligations. This includes diligently recognising and assessing all systemic risks applicable to its service, providing an option in its recommender systems that is not based on user profiling, and having an advertisement repository publicly available.

Very large online platforms and search engines are those with over 45 million users in Europe. They must concede with the most strict rules of the DSA. The DSA categorises platforms or search engines that have more than 45 million users per month in Europe as very large online platforms (VLOPs) or very large online search engines (VLOSEs). The Commission has started to designate VLOPs or VLOSEs based on user numbers delivered by platforms and search engines, which nevertheless of size, they were required to publish by 17 February 2023.

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Simona Mazzeo is a journalist at Brussels Morning News. She is covering European Parliament, European Council, European Commission & Italy News. She is a law graduate and lawyer residing in Agropoli, has carved out a multifaceted career dedicated to justice and social advocacy. She actively serves as a delegated councilor for the Equal Opportunities Committee of the Bar Association of Vallo della Lucania, championing fair and equal representation within the legal system. Recognized for her expertise and empathy, Simona is qualified for registration in the list of Special Curators of minors in civil and criminal matters at the Court of Vallo della Lucania, ensuring the rights and interests of vulnerable children are protected throughout legal proceedings. Beyond her legal practice, Simona demonstrates a strong commitment to social causes. She is a founding member of the Free Lawyer Movement, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing legal assistance to those who cannot afford it. Additionally, she leverages her knowledge and passion for social justice as a non-professional journalist, contributing insightful and informative pieces on relevant legal and societal issues. Through her diverse endeavors, Simona Mazzeo exemplifies dedication to legal excellence, social responsibility, and a fervent belief in equal access to justice for all.