EU agrees on Data Governance Act
On 30 November 2021, the European Commission issued a press release welcoming the political agreement reached between the European Parliament and EU Member States on a European Data Governance Act, proposed to be adopted as a Regulation.
The Data Governance Act is intended to create the basis for a new European way of data governance in accordance with EU rules, such as personal data protection (GDPR), consumer protection and competition rules. The purpose is to enable trust and facilitate the flow of data across sectors and Member States.
The Regulation will facilitate data sharing across the EU and between sectors to create wealth for society, increase control and trust of both citizens and companies regarding their data, and notably will offer an alternative European model to data handling practice of major tech platforms, which can acquire a high degree of market power because of their business models that imply control of large amounts of data.
The provisions of the Data Governance Act include the following:
- A number of measures to increase trust in data sharing, as the lack of trust is currently a major obstacle and results in high costs.
- New EU rules on neutrality to allow novel data intermediaries to function as trustworthy organisers of data sharing.
- Measures to facilitate the reuse of certain data held by the public sector. For example, the reuse of health data could advance research to find cures for rare or chronic diseases.
- Means to give Europeans control on the use of the data they generate, by making it easier and safer for companies and individuals to voluntarily make their data available for the wider common good under clear conditions.
In addition, it is noted that the EU Commission plans to propose a second major legislative initiative, the Data Act, to maximise the value of data for the economy and society. The purpose of that Data Act will be to foster data sharing among businesses, and between businesses and governments.
The proposed Data Governance Act is now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and the Council.
The press release can be found here.
A copy of the proposed Data Governance Act can be found here.