On 29 June 2022, the National Communications Commission (NCC) of Taiwan released a draft of the Digital Intermediary Services Act (数位中介服务法; DISA), with a 60 day public consultation timeframe for citizens and permanent residents of Taiwan. The DISA is focused on regulating platform accountability, illegal contents, transparency, and disclosing business information and service terms to protect users’ rights. The NCC referenced parts of the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA) in its draft DISA. NCC’s explanations about the provisions of the DISA refer to the specific provisions of the EU’s DSA.
The DISA will be broadly applicable to “digital intermediary (DI) service” providers, in which such a service is defined as “communication and dissemination intermediary service provided by the transmission of audio, video, text, data or other information in digital format by wired, wireless, satellite or other electronic transmission facilities”, as per Article 2 (1).
The five categories of DI service providers are specified as follows:
- Connection service providers (mere conduit)
- Fast access service providers (caching)
- Information storage service providers (hosting), which includes the two categories below
- Online platform service providers
- Designated online platform service providers
These categories include a vast scope of services such as internet access, domain name registration, cloud computing services, and messaging software services. Given the broad scope of DI services, businesses should carefully review the potential application of the DISA and the impact to their operations. Depending on the categorisation, a DI service provider will bear different responsibilities and obligations as follows, unless it meets certain liability exemption conditions:
- Removing information, restricting access, or other measures related to illegal content in accordance with court judgments or administrative actions;
- Publicizing terms and conditions such as policies, procedures, measures and tools for content moderation including algorithmic decision-making and human review;
- Publishing a transparency report on content regulation every year;
- Establishing a notification and response mechanism on illegal content.
Given the DISA’s broad scope of application, interested parties should carefully monitor its legislative passage. Access Partnership is closely tracking this too.