Commission seeks views on data sharing

Today, the European Commission has launched an open public consultation on the announced Data Act aiming to create a fair data economy by ensuring access to and use of data. The consultation seeks to gather views from citizens, businesses, online platforms, academics, civil society, administrations and all interested parties. It is open until 3 September. Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age, said: “The Data Act is a new major step in building a fair and human-centred approach to digitalisation. It will clarify the rights and obligations of parties in data transactions and ensure fairness in the allocation of data value among the actors of the data economy.Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, added: “The Data Act will unlock vast troves of industrial data and contribute to the emergence of a sovereign single market for data. European data, in particular industrial data, needs to be shared, stored and processed in line with European rules such as data protection, respect of intellectual property and trade secrets.” The Data Act follows up on and complements the Data Governance regulation proposed in November 2020, the first deliverable under the European strategy for data. The role of the Data Governance Regulation is to facilitate data sharing across the EU and between sectors by increasing trust in data intermediaries and to strengthen data-sharing mechanisms across the EU. It focuses on the processes and structures facilitating data sharing. Together with these two complementary initiatives, the Commission will also further develop and fund European data spaces as announced in the data strategy to pool data in key strategy sectors and areas of public interest, such as health, agriculture or manufacturing. As announced, a proposal for a health data space will be presented later in 2021.