Data Governance Act: EU Parliament And Member States Agree On A New Data Law

Companies and authorities produce a lot of data. The EU now wants to take advantage of this to promote innovation in the medical or transport sector.

The member states of the European Union (EU) have agreed on a new law together with the EU Parliament in order to be able to better use the increasing amounts of data from companies and authorities for the benefit of the economy and society in the future.

In addition to the states, this was also announced by a negotiating team from the EU Parliament. The so-called data governance law was proposed by the European Commission last year.

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The aim of the law is to promote innovations in the fields of artificial intelligence, medicine and mobility through the increased use of data. In healthcare, for example, data helps improve care, enables better personalized treatments and helps cure rare or chronic diseases. In the transport sector, mobility data can be used to optimize local transport.

At the same time, the law is intended to ensure that citizens retain control over their data. This should also apply to citizens who voluntarily provide their data. "It's about creating the right conditions for a trustworthy exchange of data in accordance with our European values ​​and fundamental rights," said Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager. A secure environment is now being created in which data for the benefit of society and the economy can be exchanged between sectors and Member States.

Data markets should get new rules

The CSU MEP Angelika Niebler said that it had been possible to lay a solid foundation for a fair and trustworthy data economy in Europe. The EU is at the beginning of the age of artificial intelligence, and in order not to be left behind, Europe will above all need more data.

Our agreement with the member states provides the necessary conditions to break open and swiftly tap into the well-filled data silos that exist all over the EU

As a concrete example of changes, she cited the planned new rules for data marketplaces. They stipulate that data marketplaces should only act as neutral intermediaries.

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In practice, according to Niebler, this means that a platform that, for example, organizes the trade in sensor data from agricultural equipment such as tractors, sprayers or harvesting machines is not allowed to use this data for its own purposes, such as the development of in-house products for the agricultural sector. 

This is to ensure that both buyers and sellers of data can trust that the data sharing will not result in a competitive disadvantage due to the use of their data by third parties.

The political agreement on the law, also known by the abbreviation DGA (Data Governance Act), now has to be confirmed by the Council of Member States and the General Assembly of Parliament. However, this is considered a formality.

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