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EU Data Act: What Businesses Need to Know

Fri 24 Mar 2023

The EU Data Act is set to become a significant part of the broader digital strategy for European Union member states. It follows the implementation of high-profile EU digital legislation such as the Data Governance Act, Digital Markets Act, and Digital Services Act.

Understanding the EU Data Act

First proposed in February 2022, the EU Data Act aims to foster a data-sharing environment by establishing clear rules on data access and usage across the EU. The European Commission estimates that this legislation could generate an additional €270 billion in GDP by 2028.

The EU Data Act has far-reaching implications for various players in the EU data ecosystem, including enabling customers to switch between cloud data-processing service providers more efficiently and implementing safeguards against unlawful data transfers.

Connected device users will have better access to the data they generate and the ability to share this information with third parties at their discretion. As new rights are introduced, industry actors will also face new obligations and responsibilities.

Key Aspects of the Act

The primary goal of the EU Data Act is to provide a comprehensive legal framework for data sharing, access, and usage among businesses, governments, and individuals. The Act will set rules and guidelines for these stakeholders while also promoting common data standards and formats. Additionally, it will reinforce existing data protection and privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

EU Data Act: Reactions and Implications

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, considers the Act essential for Europe’s competitiveness in a data-driven society.

“We want to give consumers and companies even more control over what can be done with their data, clarifying who can access data and on what terms. This is a key Digital Principle that will contribute to creating a solid and fair data-driven economy and guide the Digital transformation by 2030,” she added.

> Read more: What does the Digital Markets Act mean for big and small tech companies?

While the Commission hope that the Act will help support a more competitive data market, where public sector organisations can better access private sector data, and in the process lead to innovation, many industry players heavily oppose the implementation of the Act.

Digital Europe, the European organisation that represents the digital technology sector, has called the Act ‘a huge leap into the unknown, affecting the fundamentals of European companies’ data-driven business models, with only the promise of a better data future’.

According to Digital Europe, in the current era of widespread industry challenges, from economic upheaval to supply chain issues, stability is needed, not uncertainty. “Before opening Pandora’s box, the Data Act’s rules need to be tried and tested in real-world market conditions to make sure that they work for European businesses,” the organisation continues.

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data data privacy EU EU Data Act Europe GDPR
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