EU seeks to ‘seize the opportunity’ of data economy – EURACTIV.com

According to European Commission estimates, upcoming European legislation to put users and providers on an equal footing when it comes to data access is expected to generate billions of euros in additional GDP for Europe.

The Data Act is a legislative proposal to open a market for data generated by connected devices. After the adoption of the data governance law, this is the second major element of the European data strategy, as it defines a governance framework for the exchange of industrial data.

We are now at a pivotal moment in the data economy. And we really need to seize this opportunity to strengthen Europe’s leading position in this regard,” António Biason, Legal and Policy Officer at the European Commission’s Digital Policy Department (DG CNECT), told a EURACTIV an event October 13.

Data is and will be increasingly fundamental to the European digital economy, which is why data collaboration between European industries will be essential.

By 2030, the EU data economy will cross the threshold of one trillion euros. And it has been growing every year for some time now, accounting for nearly 3.6% of European Union GDP.

“That’s why data law is so essential. This will help boost the data economy by creating a clear framework for the internal market,” said Kir Nuthi, senior policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation, recounted the same event.

The Commission estimated earlier this year that the new rules could generate €270 billion in additional GDP by 2028.

Boosting the data economy

With the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), valuable data is being generated by the increasingly ubiquitous use of connected devices. However, it is not always clear who can use this data, how and for what purposes.

“So the Data Act does precisely that. It aims to clarify who can use what data and under what conditions,” António Biason explained.

The legislation also addresses improving the ability to switch to the cloud, making more data available to the public sector and data interoperability in the EU.

However, Biason also argued that the main purpose of the dossier is not only to improve the competition and quality of IoT products, but also to boost digitalization and the data-based economy. data.

According to some estimates, around 80% of industrial data goes unused, representing a vast potential untapped resource.

Internet of things market

The focus is on products that generate or collect information about their use or the environment. But it is not fixed, an article providing for the possibility of reviewing these categories.

The scope includes both raw and prepared form data, which is data cleaned and transformed before processing and analysis. Out of scope are derived or inferred data, which results from software or hardware processes.

The aim is for the data law to lead to more transparency, which could be beneficial for Europe’s competitiveness. If a customer buying a product knows exactly what to expect, it could be an argument to buy a product rather than a product of comparable quality without this information.

Thomas Mann, an information security manager at K-Businesscom AG, a digital consulting company, believes that the legislation should be seen as an instrument to gain more advantage in the international market while protecting the intellectual property rights of manufacturers.

Fair rules of the game

The Data Act also aims to ensure a level playing field, argues the Commission.

“We want to make sure that those who are data-starved, who are data-poor, actually get data,” Biason said. Data should not continue to flow to those who are already data rich.

As data will be the infrastructure of the future data economy, “we really need to make sure that more data market players actually get this data,” Biason added.

The debate on the exemption of SMEs has also been revived. Previously, Conservative MEP and rapporteur Pilar del Castillo Vera included a broader exemption for the number of companies affected by the data sharing obligations the regulation will introduce.

Del Castillo pointed to the risk of overburdening small and medium-sized businesses “by imposing new design requirements regarding the products they design or manufacture, or the related services they might provide.”

Therefore, the rapporteur has proposed to extend the exemption from data sharing obligations towards users and the public sector from micro and small enterprises to medium-sized enterprises.

The deadline for tabling amendments to the draft report is October 28 in the Industry Committee, which takes the matter to the European Parliament.

This article follows the political debate organized by EURACTIV “How to ensure fair conditions for sharing industrial data under European data law?” supported by VDMA.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

Ramon J. Espinoza