BRUSSELS - The Commission steps up its enforcement actions against Microsoft: after not having received an answer to its request for information from 14 March regarding specific risks stemming from Bing's generative AI features, notably “Copilot in Bing” and “Image Creator by Designer”, the company now has until 27 May to provide the requested information to the Commission.

Commission compels Microsoft to provide information under the Digital Services Act on generative AI risks on Bing
With today's legally binding request for information, the Commission is asking Bing to provide internal documents and data that were not disclosed in Bing's previous response. The request for information is based on the suspicion that Bing may have breached the DSA for risks linked to generative AI, such as so-called ‘hallucinations', the viral dissemination of deepfakes, as well as the automated manipulation of services that can mislead voters. Under the DSA, designated services, including Bing, must carry out an adequate risk assessment and adopt respective risk mitigation measures (Art 34 and 35 of the DSA). Generative AI is one of the risks identified by the Commission in its guidelines on the integrity of electoral processes, in particular for the upcoming elections to the European Parliament in June.

In case Bing fails to reply within the deadline, the Commission may impose fines up to 1% of the provider's total annual income or worldwide turnover and periodic penalties up to 5% of the provider's average daily income or worldwide annual turnover. The Commission can also impose fines up to 1% of the provider's total annual income or worldwide turnover for incorrect, incomplete, or misleading information in response to a request for information.

Following its designation as Very Large Online Search Engine, Bing is required to comply with the full set of provisions introduced by the DSA. In this particular case, the Commission considers that the suspected violations of the DSA may present risks linked to civic discourse and electoral processes. According to Article 67(3) of the DSA, the Commission is empowered to request, by decision, further information to Bing relating to suspected infringements.

A request for information is an investigatory act that does not prejudge potential further steps the Commission may or may not decide to take. Based on the assessment of the replies, the Commission will assess the next steps. This could entail the opening of formal proceedings, pursuant to Article 66 of the DSA.