Companies such as Meta, Alphabet, Twitter and Apple had until today (February 17) to inform the European Commission about their (average) monthly active visitor and user numbers within the EU. They determine the extent of the rules from the Digital Services Act (DSA) approved last year, which will become applicable. The four tech companies were of course already giants worldwide, but now they are also officially in the EU.
DSA rules for large tech companies
For companies that provide services within the EU and have more than 45 million monthly users, the DSA means that they must comply with rules to protect customer (data). This includes independent external audits, risk management and drawing up a code of conduct. In addition, they are also obliged, if requested, to share data with authorities.
With the DSA, the EU wants to better protect its citizens against unwanted content (including advertisements) and to ensure that they are better informed about what a certain site or platform wants to do with their usage data. One of the practical applications is the obligation to make cookie notifications more transparent and clear. The DSA was approved by the EU last year and is due to come into effect on November 17, 2024.
Meta, Alphabet, Twitter and Apple go ‘across the EU border’
The visitor and user information provided by a number of tech companies to the EU shows that Meta, Alphabet, Apple and Twitter all exceed the limit of 45 million users in the EU. Meta says it’s about 255 million each month for Facebook and 250 million on Insta. For Twitter, that number is just over 100 million. Apple said that only the number of monthly users of the App Store exceeds the 45 million mark.
It’s a bit different for Google. Alphabet has slightly more Google services that exceed that limit. Almost 279 million users for Maps, 275 million for the Play Store, 332 million for Google Search, 75 million for Google Shopping and more than 400 million monthly European YouTube users.