In the framework of the European Commission consultation on the Data Act and amended rules on the legal protection of databases, we are delighted to share our feedback. In this document we therefore share our thoughts and insights on measures that would create a fair data economy by ensuring better control over and conditions for data sharing for citizens and businesses.
Data plays a vital role in the EU’s objectives for its digital future, and is an essential part of the growth in jobs, innovation, and competitiveness. Furthermore, we agree with the European Commission that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) could especially benefit from this Commission initiative and easier access to data.
We therefore call on the European Commission to support the following points:
General access to data: each company and individual should be able to get access to non-personalised public data without administrative, organisational or monetary barriers. This approach will foster open innovation.
It is important that national, regional and local non-sensitive public data (from governments, municipalities and public authorities) is open to allow the development of new products and services which will facilitate businesses and support consumers.
All barriers that hinder safe data sharing across the EU should be removed.
Open data will inter alia facilitate price comparisons and mobile payment solutions which will benefit consumers across Europe.
While personal data protection rules in the EU need to be strong, a framework should be created in Europe which allows for the easy and seamless transmission and sharing of non-personal data.
An open data model in Europe will create new possibilities but also improve efficiency and benefit the environment, thus aligning with Europe’s sustainability and Green Deal targets.
To facilitate business-to-business data sharing, the EU Data Act should allow Smart Contracts - a standard baseline for data sharing - and for companies to be able to share data in a simple, easy and cost-effective way. Smart Contracts should be based on voluntary standards developed by industry working with a European standards organisation. This should greatly facilitate automated data sharing, reinforce the principle of the EU Single Market and help SMEs to sell goods and services across borders.
Each EU citizen should be able to choose how to use their personal data and be allowed to benefit from cross-product/ company/ usage applications (e.g. like in banking where a citizen can choose to connect his/her bank account in one place and have all data there, and be able to execute a variety of transactions). This reduces friction for citizens, improves transparency of private data and simplifies processes as only one process needs to be executed. This is a huge advantage for citizens who do not need to follow separate individual processes in different products.