The EU Data Act is legislation that regulates access to and use of data in the European Union. This article explains the main aspects of the Data Act, based on information from the European Parliament’s official website, the European Commission’s Digital Strategy website, and the European Commission’s official document of February 23, 2022, available on EUR-Lex.
The Data Act was introduced to recognize the increasing importance of data in the digital economy and to remove barriers to realizing the full potential of data-driven innovation. Data is an essential component of the digital economy and a critical resource for ensuring green and digital transitions. It was found that most data remains unused or its value is concentrated in the hands of a few large companies. The Data Act aims to unlock the potential of data by creating opportunities for data reuse while removing barriers to the development of the European data economy in line with European rules and values.
The Data Act is an important step in ensuring that businesses in the EU are able to innovate and compete, and in empowering individuals with regard to their data. It sets harmonized rules for fair access to and use of data and is an essential part of the European Strategy for Data, which aims to build a true single market for data and make Europe a global leader in the data agile economy.
Introduction to the EU Data Act
The EU Data Act is a law that regulates the handling of non-personal data. It was developed to govern the exchange and sharing of data generated by the use of networked products and services. The law aims to enable fair data sharing contracts and encourage the development of new services, especially in the field of artificial intelligence.
In addition, the Data Act addresses the challenges posed by the increasing importance of data in the digital economy. It was found that much of the data remains unused or that its value is concentrated in the hands of a few large companies. The Data Act aims to unlock the potential of data by creating opportunities for data reuse while reducing barriers to the development of the European data economy in line with European rules and values.
The Data Act also includes measures to allow users of networked devices to access data generated by those devices and related services and to share that data with third parties. This drives aftermarket services and innovation, while keeping manufacturers motivated to invest in generating high-quality data without compromising their trade secrets.
For the public sector, the Data Act includes mechanisms to allow public agencies to access and use data held by the private sector in cases of public emergencies, such as floods and wildfires, or in implementing a legal mandate when the required data are not otherwise available.
In addition, the Data Act includes new rules that give customers the freedom to switch between different cloud data processing service providers and safeguards against unlawful data transfers to ensure a more reliable and secure data processing environment.
The Data Act is also an important step in strengthening the rights of individuals and businesses with respect to their data. It sets harmonized rules for fair access to and use of data and is an essential part of the European Strategy for Data, which aims to build a true single market for data and make Europe a global leader in the data agile economy.
Main objectives of the EU Data Act:
Establishment of fair data contracts
The Data Act establishes rules for the exchange and sharing of data, with a particular focus on strengthening users’ rights and promoting fair contracts. Users of networked devices and services have the right to access and share the data they generate with third parties. This opens up opportunities for aftermarket services and innovation. The Data Act also contains provisions to protect small and medium-sized enterprises from unfair contract terms and strengthens their negotiating position. The European Commission will develop non-binding model contract terms to help companies negotiate fair data sharing agreements.
Protection of trade secrets and public access to data
The Data Act protects trade secrets by setting clear rules for handling sensitive data. At the same time, it allows public agencies to access data held by the private sector in certain cases, such as emergencies or the implementation of legal mandates. This helps improve decision making based on data and effectively respond to crises.
Legal certainty and data availability
The Data Act increases legal certainty for businesses and consumers by setting clear rules for access to and use of data. It incentivizes manufacturers to invest in generating high-quality data and promotes the availability of data to various stakeholders. This should facilitate the transfer of data between service providers and encourage more players to participate in the data economy.
Flexibility when switching cloud services
The Data Act facilitates switching between cloud service providers and other data processing services by promoting data portability. It introduces new safeguards to prevent unlawful international data transfers by cloud providers and protects customers from vendor lock-in. This is intended to promote competition in the market and increase choice for customers.
Promote the development of interoperability standards
As part of the EU standardization strategy, the Data Act contains measures to promote the development of interoperability standards for data exchange and processing. This will help facilitate the free flow of data within the European Union and between sectors.
Overall, the EU Data Act aims to create a balanced and innovative data economy that protects users’ rights, promotes business competitiveness, and enables the public sector to respond effectively to challenges.
The EU Data Act represents an important legal framework aimed at regulating access to and use of data in the European Union. By creating rules for data sharing, protecting trade secrets, and strengthening the rights of consumers and businesses, the Data Act helps harness the potential of data as a resource for innovation and economic development.