Data has huge potential to benefit people both as individuals and more collectively as society, but it needs to be governed in a way that these benefits are shared and available. The European Union is attempting to unlock the power of data by the creation of an effective single market for data services across the EU.
“Europe’s digital economy is still strongly split along closed national lines. This is holding Europe back from its broader digital growth. Our proposal, together with EU personal data protection rules will enable the free movement of all types of data in the single market. The free flow of data will make it easier for SMEs and startups to develop new innovative services and to enter new markets,” they say.
They aim to support this transition via the creation of a clear and comprehensive framework that will underpin rules around data storate and processing. The framework proposes:
- The principle of free flow of non-personal data across borders: Member States can no longer oblige organizations to locate the storage or processing of data within their borders. Restrictions will only be justified for reasons of public security. Member States will have to notify the Commission of new or existing data localization requirements. The free flow of non-personal data will make it easier and cheaper for businesses to operate across borders without having to duplicate IT systems or to save the same data in different places.
- The principle of data availability for regulatory control: Competent authorities will be able to exercise their rights of access to data wherever it is stored or processed in the EU. The free flow of non-personal data will not affect the obligations for businesses and other organizations to provide certain data for regulatory control purposes.
- The development of EU codes of conduct to remove obstacles to switching between service providers of cloud storage and to porting data back to users’ own IT systems.
The new rules aim to provide an enhanced level of legal certainty and trust for businesses, organizations and individuals, with this then providing the basis for a single market in data storage and processing across the EU. The team believe it could help to grow GDP across the EU by €8bn a year. It also seeks to complement the personal data legislation that has been brought in via GDPR to enable Europe to be a truly functional, common data space.