Making Europe Great Again or How the Data Act is a key cornerstone to make the EU a leader of the Digital age.

On the 23 of February 2022, the Commission proposed new rules on who can use and access data generated in the EU across all economic sectors. Indeed, according to the Executive Vice-President for a ‘Europe fit for the digital age’, Margrethe Vestager, the Data Act aims at providing ‘ consumers and companies, even more, control over what can be done with their data, clarifying who can access data and on what terms.’ In this regard, the Data Act constitutes the last building block of the Commission’s data strategy. It complements the EU GDPR, ePrivacy Directive, Digital Services Act, Digital Markets Act, Data Governance Act and Artificial Intelligence Regulation.

The proposal for the Data Act includes[1]:

  • Measures to allow users of connected devices to gain access to data generated by them, which is often exclusively harvested by manufacturers; and to share such data with third parties to provide aftermarket or other data-driven innovative services.
  • Measures to rebalance negotiation power for SMEs by preventing abuse of contractual imbalances in data sharing contracts.
  • Means for public sectors bodies to access and use data held by private sectors that is necessary for exceptional circumstances, particularly in case of a public emergency (floods, wildfires, or to implement a legal mandate if data are not otherwise available.
  • New rules to allow customers to effectively switch between different cloud data-processing services providers and to put in place safeguards against unlawful data transfer.

Accordingly, the Data act aims at creating a level playing field for businesses, industrial players, and aftermarkets services providers. They will access more data, benefit from a competitive data market, and offer more personalized services.

The Data Act forms a key cornerstone in the 2030 digital objectives for Europe. It aims to maximize the value of data in a data-driven economy, foster innovation, and ensure that industrial data is shared, stored, and processed in full respect of European rules.

[1] Data Act: Commission proposes measures for a fair and innovative data economy, available at Data Act: measures for a fair and innovative data economy (europa. eu)