The effect of the Digital Services Act (DSA) on recommender systems in the EU

Luca Bertuzzi at Euractiv writes about the Digital Services Act (DSA), and how this would affect recommender systems.


Schaldemose wanted to turn off online platforms’ recommender systems by default. As a result, social media like Facebook or Instagram would not personalise the user experience based on individual preferences unless people opted into that option.

While the proposal did not fly, Article 29 was revised to commend very large online platforms to provide at least one option that is not based on profiling. In addition, users should be able “to select and to modify at any time their preferred option for each of the recommender systems that determines the relative order of information presented to them.”

Furthermore, all online platforms will need to make their algorithm’s ‘main parameters’ to rank content and personalise the user experience easily accessible. That includes, as a minimum, the list of criteria used to assess content relevance, the objective of the optimisation, how the system interacts with user behaviour, and the relative weight of each parameter.

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