Is a global consensus on non-personal data governance possible?

Speakers: Cainzos Alejandro, Kiener Christophe, Stylianou Helen, Lopez-Gonzalez Javier, MacDougall Robert, Rogers Kevin
Moderator: Newman Matthew

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on the prospect and the importance of a global consensus on non-personal data with our distinguished speakers:

Mr Alejandro Cainzos, Member, External digital connectivity, VP Vestager Cabinet, European Commission will hold the introductory remarks.

The debate will be moderated by Matthew Newman, EU Chief Correspondent, MLex

Given the current developments regarding the Covid-19 outbreak,  our event series will be held in streaming.

This event is organised in partnership with


About the debate

Over the last decade, the question of data flows has become a primary issue of concern for businesses, governments and citizens alike, both in Europe and across the world. At the EU level, along with the GDPR and the other EU data protection rules, the entering into force of last year’s regulation aimed at fostering the free flow of non-personal data in the internal market has marked the European Union’s formal recognition of data flowing as a pre-requisite for innovation, research and a successful finalisation of the digital transformation of the economy. Furthermore, the recently released EU Data Strategy has confirmed this stance by highlighting that the increasing volume of non-personal industrial data and public data in Europe, coupled with the current technological shift in how data is stored and processed, will constitute “a potential source of innovation and growth that should be tapped”.

At a global level, in January 2019, 76 countries, along with the EU, have supported the WTO E-commerce Joint Initiative, which made conspicuous the interrelation between e-commerce, trade and data. Subsequently, during the G20 summit of last June, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe launched the so-called “Osaka Track” with the aim of creating a framework to promote cross-border data flows with enhanced protections and safeguards for intellectual property, personal information and cybersecurity. On that occasion, the Prime Minister of Japan pointed out that “we must enable the free flow of medical, industrial, traffic and other most useful, non-personal, anonymous data to see no borders” and added that “the regime we must build is one for DFFT, Data Free Flow with Trust”. The potential of the data economy lies not only in technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), smart cities and online platforms, but also in the digitalisation of more traditional industry sectors such as logistics, agriculture and manufacturing. In addition to this, there is a widespread agreement among experts on the fact that this trend is being amplified by the shift from 4G to 5G-based technologies and the development of artificial intelligence (AI), which both, in turn, will allow smart applications and autonomous systems to unlock new tools and capabilities.

Twenty-four countries, including the United States and China, along with the EU, supported the “Osaka Track”. Yet, despite the unprecedented innovation, growth and societal value linked with the digital transformation of the economy, the questions surrounding the free flow of data have generated new policy challenges for European and global leaders alike. Indeed, addressing these issues at the global level has featured quietly but steadily, across the currently uneven global landscape. While some observers have remarked that the digital economy’s foundation is in danger due to current barriers to data flows, others have highlighted the potential of fostering an open, competitive and rules-based global digital economy through the enacting of new international rules to manage the fundamental driver of today’s global economic and societal advancement. Is a global consensus on non-personal data governance possible?

The audience will be able to ask questions during both the discussion and the Q&A session through #NonPersonalData

This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the attendees may be revealed. For this reason, unless explicitly authorised by PubAffairs Bruxelles, the filming and/or the recording of the event by any means are strictly forbidden.

The event will commence at 6.00 pm and it will be held in streaming. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.

We look forward to hosting you at 6.00 pm on the 5th of May 2020.