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Shaping Europe’s Digital Future: the Data Act

The Commission proposes new rules on who can use and access data generated in the EU

Find out more about the new Data Act that helps shape Europe’s digital future! On 23 February 2022, the European Commission proposed new rules on who can use and access data generated in the European Union. This Data Act—as part of the European Strategy for Data—will play a key role in the digital transformation of Europe. It will help to ensure fairness in the digital environment, stimulate a competitive data market, open opportunities for data-driven innovation and make data more accessible for everyone.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age, said: “We want to give consumers and companies even more control over what can be done with their data, clarifying who can access data and on what terms. This is a key Digital Principle that will contribute to creating a solid and fair data-driven economy and guide the Digital transformation by 2030.”

The Data Act aims to overcome legal, economic and technical barriers so that more data will be available for re-use. Specifically, the proposal for the Data Act includes measures to:

  • Allow users of connected devices to access their data and to share that data with third parties to receive innovative data-driven services.
  • Rebalance negotiation power for small and medium enterprises by preventing abuse of contractual imbalances in data sharing contracts.
  • Give the public sector access to data held by the private sector in exceptional circumstances—such as public emergencies, like floods and wildfires.
  • Allowing customers to switch between cloud service-providers and implementing safeguards against unlawful data transfer.

The Data Act aims to complement the Data Governance Act and will help free the flow of data within the EU and across sectors to benefit businesses, researchers, the public administration and society at large.

For an overview of the Data Act, read the fact sheet.

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