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EU plans Data Governance Act

November 26, 2020

The EU has revealed plans for a new Data Governance Act (DGA), that it says will benefit citizens, societies and companies in Europe.

The Act would govern who has access to the data and what purposes it can be used for and how. This is a key element of the EU’s new strategy, announced in February, which aims to break Big Tech’s stranglehold of data.

The Commission estimates that data levels in Europe will rise by a factor of five between 2018 and 2025. The VP of the Commission, Margrete Vestager, who is responsible for competition in the EU as well as the bloc’s digital strategy, said, “Today only very little of all of that data is put to productive use.” According to an EU study, the new measures could increase the economic value of data through its proposed sharing plan by up to €7-11 billion by 2028.

The EU’s Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton stressed that the strategy was “not against others” but “for ourselves”. It is unlikely to play well with the US alongside various European initiatives to force Big Tech to pay “fair” taxes.

The model is to be based on data intermediaries that organise data sharing or pooling, ensuring its use remains neutral and transparent, and would not themselves capitalise on the data by selling it to a third party or using it themselves.

The Data Governance Act is just the first piece of legislation to put the EU data plan in place. It will stipulate that EU data is stored and processed within the its borders, challenging the digital native giants such as Google.

The Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act – should be published in early December.

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