Data Sovereignty in the Digital Decade
On Tuesday 4 October 2022, the Digital Decade Futurium Community organised the webinar ´Data Sovereignty in the Digital Decade`. The goal was to discuss what makes data a crucial cornerstone of the ´2030 Digital Decade policy programme`. The programme aims to realise human-centred and sustainable digital policies, able to empower citizens and businesses in a more prosperous and sovereign digital future.
To disentangle the role of data in reaching these targets, the Futurium webinar invited Miapetra Kumpula Natri (Member of the European Parliament and Rapporteur for European Strategy for Data) and Yvo Volman (Director of Data Policy and Innovation at the European Commission´s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology) to define together the concept of data sovereignty and explain its importance for Europe´s digital transformation. For Miapetra Kumpula Natri, data sovereignty in Europe means to be ´the players, not the playground', as she called for a European way of shaping the data economy in line with the ambitions of the Data Act. Yvo Volman also stressed the importance of defining data sovereignty in accordance with EU rules and values, while at the same time empowering EU consumers and businesses. In particular, he mentioned four key points of the EU Data Strategy:
- Make it possible for data to flow between sectors.
- Make it ample for data to be used and reused.
- A need to handle data in line with European rules and values.
- A need for clear rules on the access and use of data.
This session was followed by a panel discussion with several stakeholders from the research and innovation field, the business sector, as well as cross-border cooperation in the public sector. Denia Kanellopoulou (Innovation Services Expert at Ahedd) welcomed the introduction of EU legislation to facilitate the use and sharing of data but reminded of the still long way to go to establish trust in data sharing. Rebekka Weiß (Head of Data Protection and Consumer Law at Bitkom) pointed out that the regulatory landscape should not become too dense as technological advancement needs foremost legal certainty and stability. For effective regulations in a fast-moving technology marketplace, Kai Wagner (Chief Advocacy Officer at Jolocom and Co-chair of the Identity Working Group and Member of the Board of Directors, International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications) underlined the need to involve different stakeholders and advocated for structural preparedness for the use of data.
The event ended with a Q&A session and closing remarks by Eric Peters (Deputy Head of Unit, Implementation of the Regulatory Framework at the European Commission´s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology), who reminded of the importance of trust and empowerment in data sharing as well as a collaborative effort from various stakeholders.