The European Council and the European Parliament are expected to start their trilogue on the Data Act on 28 March. Already on Monday this week, in Strasbourg the Parliament voted on the draft prepared by rapporteur Pilar del Castillo Vera (EPP) from the Industry Committee (ITRE) and issued its negotiating mandate. The Data Act is intended to facilitate the accessibility of data in order to promote innovation and fairness in the digital environment and to better harness the potential of the constant creation of data sets.
Although important steps forward have been made, eco – Association of the Internet Industry still sees a need for improvement in the Data Act, as it currently generates less incentives for companies and produces more bureaucracy.
Oliver Süme, Chair of the Board of eco, has the following to say:
“The European Parliament has already made a number of important changes, particularly with regard to the protection of trade secrets and the restrictions on access rights for public authorities. Nevertheless, the ideal goal has not yet been reached. There are still numerous issues in the Data Act that need to be clarified and upgraded. Given the importance and scope of the regulations on data handling in Germany, Europe and beyond, the aim must not be to conclude the legislative process as quickly as possible. What is needed above all is diligence and a thorough approach.
“There is also still plenty of room for improvement in the Data Act with regard to the overly rigid deadlines for switching between cloud providers or the insufficient compensation provided to data owners when data is passed on to third parties. Overall, in our view, the basic problem is unfortunately that the Data Act offers companies too much bureaucracy and too few incentives for processing, using and sharing data.
“In its statement in January, the German federal government also addressed its intention to significantly expand access for research institutions. Even though this proposal has not found favour in the current parliamentary version, eco warns of the potential impact on companies, especially since the parliamentary report also stipulates the transfer of data to research organisations in some cases.
“Overly far-reaching access options for research organisations could counteract the restrictions that have been made for the field of public bodies. Here, it is essential to ensure that the burden on companies remains within reasonable limits. Data should only be passed on to public agencies or research institutions in clearly defined emergency situations or as part of voluntary agreements.”