Data Act: Businesses and citizens in favour of a fair data economy

The Commission publishes today the results for the open public consultation on the Data Act, the upcoming flagship initiative of the European Data Strategy. Most of the respondents consider that action at EU or national level is needed on business-to-government data sharing for the public interest, especially for emergencies and crisis management, prevention and resilience. The responses show that while businesses engage in data sharing, data transactions are still held back by numerous obstacles of a technical or legal nature. Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age, said: “The Data Act will be a major new initiative to ensure fairness by providing better control for data sharing to citizens and businesses, in line with our European values. We welcome the broad interest and the support towards this initiative.” Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, added: “Concretely with this Act, users will have more control over the data they generate via their smart objects and EU businesses more possibilities to compete and innovate and easily transfer data between service providers. As part of our Digital Decade, fostering secure data access and use will contribute to the emergence of a sovereign European Single Market for data.” The consultation ran from 3 June to 3 September 2021 and gathered views on measures to create fairness in data sharing, value for consumers and businesses. The consultation results will feed into the impact assessment accompanying the Data Act and the review of the Directive on the legal protection of databases. The Data Act will aim at clarifying for EU consumers and businesses who can use and access what data for which purposes. It follows up on and complements the Data Governance Act, which aims to increase trust and facilitate data sharing across the EU and between sectors and on which a political agreement has been reached last week between the European Parliament and EU Member States.