Written by Tambiama Mandiega (2nd edition, updated on 15.05.2023).
On 23 February 2022, the European Commission unveiled a proposal for an EU regulation – the data act – laying down harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data. The aim is to remove barriers to consumers and businesses’ access to data, in a context in which the volume of data generated by humans and machines is increasing exponentially and becoming a critical factor for innovation by businesses (e.g. algorithm training) and by public authorities (e.g. shaping of smart cities). The proposed act establishes common rules governing the sharing of data generated by the use of connected products or related services (e.g. the internet of things, industrial machines) to ensure fairness in data-sharing contracts and to allow public sector bodies to use data held by enterprises where there is an exceptional need (e.g. public emergency). Furthermore, the proposed act introduces new rules to facilitate switching between providers of cloud services and other data-processing services, and puts in place safeguards against unlawful international data transfer by cloud service providers.
The Council and Parliament have both proposed substantial amendments to the Commission’s text and are now working towards a compromise text. Discussions focus, among other things, on defining the types of data falling in the scope of the act, ensuring that data sharing obligations will not endanger trade secrets, aligning the text with rules already enshrined in the General Data Protection Regulation and the Digital Markets Act, and setting the practical and financial details of cloud switching.
- May 2023: The Data act (2nd edition)
|Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data (Data Act)|
|Committee responsible:||Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE)||COM(2022)0068|
|Rapporteur:||Pilar del Castillo Vera (EPP, Spain)||2022/0047(COD)|
|Shadow rapporteurs:||Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (S&D, Finland)|
Alin Mituța (Renew, Romania)
Damian Boeselager (Greens/EFA, Germany)
Elena Lizzi (ID, Italy)
Margarita De La Pisa Carrion (ECR, Spain)
Elena Kountoura (The Left, Greece)
|Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)|
|Next steps expected: Trilogue negotiations|
Listen to policy podcast ‘The Data act’ on YouTube.