Data Act: new rules for a fairer data access and use

The volume of data generated by people and machines is increasing exponentially and it is becoming a key driver for innovation by businesses and public authorities (e.g. the creation of smart cities).

Recently the European Parliament adopted its negotiating position on a legislative proposal that aims to contribute to the development of new digital services, in particular in the field of artificial intelligence.

The Data Act sets out EU rules on the sharing of data generated by the use of related products or related services (e.g., ‘Internet of Things’ and industrial machinery) in order to ensure fairness of data sharing contracts.

MEPs approved measures to allow users to access the data they generate. According to the European Commission, 80% of industrial data is never used. In addition, it is intended to ensure that contractual arrangements are at the heart of business-to-business relations.

Under the proposal, companies will be able to decide what data can be shared, while the manufacturer can choose not to make certain data available “by choice”.

The text defines how public bodies will be able to access and use data held by the private sector, which is necessary in exceptional or emergency circumstances such as floods and fires.

In addition, MEPs strengthened provisions to protect trade secrets, to prevent greater access to data from being used by competitors to modify services or devices, as well as setting stricter conditions for data requests by companies to public administrations.

Finally, data legislation will facilitate the switching of cloud and other data processing services from one provider to another and introduce safeguards against illegal international data transfer by cloud services.

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