United Against Online Abuse campaign and legal firm Clark Hill partner to launch new guidance on Digital Services Act

16 Feb 2024

United Against Online Abuse, the FIA-backed campaign tackling online abuse in sport, has partnered with international law firm Clark Hill to release updated guidance on the European Digital Services Act for sports organisations.

This collaboration aims to provide clarity and support as the Act takes effect on intermediary service providers (ISPs) from February 17th of this year.

The Digital Services Act is a European law with worldwide implications which aims to tackle disinformation, false advertising, copyright violations sand online abuse. Under the terms of the law, organisations operating online have increased responsibilities to protect their users and those engaging with their content. 

Breaches of this hard hitting and far-reaching law can result in fines for businesses and organisations of up to 6% of global turnover. It is consistent with other new EU and US laws on mandatory human rights reporting which are coming down the tracks – and fast.

Abuses of rights to privacy and online abuse as seen in world sport recently will be outlawed and punished if it affects EU citizens, organisations or businesses anywhere on the globe.

The guidance from UAOA and Clark Hill will be shared with sports organisations to help them understand their responsibilities under the law. The document includes explainers on what the legislation means, and what specific activities it impacts for those operating in Europe.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA President and UAOA Founding Patron said: “We are a knowledge-led campaign and are dedicated to sharing information and guidance to support our members, and those within the wider sporting space. We hope that this will help organisations to understand their responsibilities and begin to monitor for potential issues they may face in the future.”

Clark Hill is a long-term partner and legal adviser to the UAOA campaign. Aidan Eames, Consultant at Clark Hill, said: “We are pleased to work with the UAOA to help sports organisations meet and understand the requirements of the DSA. This kind of work could not be more important, in a constantly evolving, global legislative environment.”

About the FIA United Against Online Abuse campaign

The ‘United Against Online Abuse’ campaign (UAOA), pioneered by FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, is a research-led coalition aiming to tackle the growing epidemic of online abuse and hate speech in sport. The campaign unites Sports Federations, National Governments, Regulatory Institutions and Technological Platforms, with the aim of driving regulatory and behavioural change.

 To date, the UAOA coalition has welcomed endorsement from the Governments of Albania, Belgium, France, Greece, Malaysia, Slovenia, Spain, FIM, the International Esports Federation, ASETEK SimSports, and Peace and Sport Monaco.  We will welcome a further 17 federations and international sports organisations, including FIFA, the IOC, the ITF, World Athletics, World Netball and World Squash, to the coalition in due course.

The campaign is supported by the FIA Foundation.

About Clark Hill

At Clark Hill, our value proposition is simple. We offer our clients an exceptional team, dedicated to the delivery of outstanding service. We recruit and develop talented individuals and empower them to contribute to our rich diversity of legal and industry experience. With 27 locations and more than 700 lawyers spanning the United States, Ireland, and Mexico, we work in agile, collaborative teams, partnering with our clients to help them reach and exceed their business goals.  Please visit the firm’s website at clarkhill.com or follow the firm on Twitter @ClarkHillLaw. 

Clark Hill. Simply Smarter.

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