EFS Consulting

New legal framework in prospect due to the Data Act

The draft takes a cross-sectoral approach and aims at a fairer distribution of the value creation associated with data 

According to the EU Commission, the potential of machine-generated data has so far remained largely untapped. The draft Data Act enables certain private and public actors to access and use data. The aim of the new Data Act is to give consumers and businesses more say in how their data is used by clarifying who has access to the data and under what conditions.  

Since only a small proportion of industrial data has been used so far, but it is an important cornerstone of a digital economy, it should be possible to share, store and process it in the future in accordance with European regulations. This should also contribute to the digital transformation by 2030, the guiding principle of which is to create a robust and fair data-driven economy.  

The amount of data is constantly increasing. In 2018, 33 zettabytes were generated and by 2025, it is expected to be 175 zettabytes. The Data Act targets the legal, economic and technical barriers that stand in the way of data use. With the new rules, more data will be available for re-use and GDP could likely skyrocket by an additional €270 billion by 2028.  

Five key aspects are covered by the draft Data Act:  

  • Users’ right to access and use user-generated data. 
  • Prohibition of unfair contract clauses in standardised data licensing agreements 
  • Right to access and use data by public bodies
  • Provisions to facilitate switching of data processing services (e.g. cloud and edge providers) 
  • Requirements for interoperability of data processing services as well as for international data transfer. 

In support of the European Data Strategy, the Commission has also already presented an overview of the common European data spaces that are currently being developed in different sectors and areas.  

Currently, the draft is going through the ordinary EU legislative procedure, in the framework of which changes are to be expected. The EU Commission has not given any concrete information on the time frame for the adoption of the new legislation. Experience shows that it can take 18 months to two years for a regulation to be ratified and enter into force. 

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