Digital Services Act: Joint Position Paper by the GSMA and ETNO


Since the adoption of the eCommerce Directive (eCD) in 2000, the use of digital services has increased considerably. Last year, almost 85 percent of all individuals in the EU-28, aged between 16 and 74 years, were using the internet regularly. At the same time, the variety of online services has also grown exponentially, and new business and value creation models have emerged. In particular, the importance of online platforms that allow the wide dissemination of user-uploaded content to society has drastically increased.

Digital infrastructure, tools and technologies have proved to be extremely resilient throughout the Coronavirus crisis. The speed and scale at which all aspects of life and commerce have shifted online as a result of the crisis has been a huge success story. However, this digital dependency also presents us with some challenges. Risks that already existed in the digital ecosystem have intensified because of the increased reliance on digital services and platforms, for example: exposure to illegal content, services and goods online, as well as the dissemination of viral misinformation. The GSMA and ETNO believe the Digital Services Act (DSA) has the potential to restore citizens’ trust and increase consumer protection online by creating a harmonised EU legal framework applicable to all service providers offering their content, goods or services within the European Union.

We believe it is possible to achieve this goal while respecting internet freedoms and protecting the basic principles enshrined in the eCD. In particular, we welcome the fact that the key principles of the existing legal framework for online intermediaries have been preserved, namely the country-of-origin principle, conditional liability exemptions for online intermediaries and the prohibition of general monitoring. At the same time, new proposals included in the DSA, such as the appointment of a legal representative, will improve the effectiveness of the Regulation.

For more information please contact:

Pierantonio Rizzo

Director, EU Affairs, GSMA

Pierantonio Rizzo leads the public policy activities on Digital Economy and Society matters at the GSMA Europe. In his role of Director EU Affairs, Pierantonio is responsible for Platform economy, Data, Artificial Intelligence, Consumer policy and Disinformation. He also contributes to the work of the European Commission’ stakeholders expert group on the REFIT of Consumer law.

Prior to joining the GSMA in 2017, Pierantonio worked at the European Parliament for an Italian MEP, where he followed the activities of IMCO and AFET Committees. He began his career as policy analyst at Rohde Public Policy, a public affairs consultancy firm.

Pierantonio holds a Masters of European Affairs from the Catholic University of Paris and a LLM from the University of Bologna, during which he had an exchange program with the Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas. Pierantonio speaks Italian, English, French and is currently learning Spanish.