“The Commission says the strategy will ‘create a genuine single market for data, where personal and non-personal data, including confidential and sensitive data, are secure and where businesses and the public sector have easy access to huge amounts of high quality data to create and innovate.’”
Both measures were announced yesterday (February 19) by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen; Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age Margrethe Vestager; and Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton.
Communication on a European Strategy for Data
The European data strategy aims to enhance the use of data to bring benefits to citizens and businesses. The communication explains that “the volume of data produced in the world is growing rapidly, from 33 zettabytes in 2018 to an expected 175 zettabytes in 2025.” Furthermore, said the strategy, while “today 80% of the processing and analysis of data takes place in data centres and centralised computing facilities, and 20% in smart connected objects, such as cars, home appliances or manufacturing robots, and in computing facilities close to the user (‘edge computing’), by 2025 these proportions are likely to be inverted.”
The Commission claims the coordinated strategy across all EU member states can help develop personalized medicine, improve mobility and contribute to making Europe climate-neutral by 2050.
It says the strategy will “create a genuine single market for data, where personal and non-personal data, including confidential and sensitive data, are secure and where businesses and the public sector have easy access to huge amounts of high quality data to create and innovate.”
Specific measures to be proposed include:
- A legislative framework for the governance of common European data spaces (Q4 2020)
- An implementing act on high-value data-sets (Q1 2021)
- Data Act (2021)
- Digital Services Act package (Q4 2020)
The Commission says that the planned Data Act could involve evaluating the IP rights framework, including possibly revising the Database Directive and clarifying the application of the Trade Secrets Protection Directive. The latter only came into force in 2016 and the deadline for member states to transpose it was June 2018.
‘On Artificial Intelligence – A European approach to excellence and trust’
The White Paper on AI builds on the European strategy for AI of April 2018, and aims to promote the uptake of AI while addressing risks and ethical issues, for example, with respect to facial recognition. The Commission says it is “committed to enabling scientific breakthrough, to preserving the EU’s technological leadership and to ensuring that new technologies are at the service of all Europeans—improving their lives while respecting their rights.”
The White Paper sets out various regulatory options and invites all interested parties to take part in the consultation, which is open until May 19, 2020.