HomeInsightsEuropean Commission publishes proposal for Regulation on a framework for the free flow of non-personal data in the European Union

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The Commission explains that, as indicated in its 2017 Communication “Building a European Data Economy”, the value of the EU data market was estimated in 2016 at almost €60 billion, showing a growth of 9.5% compared to 2015. According to research, the Commission says that the EU data market could potentially amount to more than EUR 106 billion in 2020.

To unlock this potential, the proposal aims to address the following issues:

  • improve the mobility of non-personal data across borders in the single market, which is currently limited in many Member States by localisation restrictions or legal uncertainty in the market;
  • ensure that the powers of competent authorities to request and receive access to data for regulatory control purposes, such as for inspection and audit, remain unaffected; and
  • make it easier for professional users of data storage or other processing services to switch service providers and to port data, while not creating an excessive burden on service providers or distorting the market.

The Commission’s aim of publishing a legislative proposal for a framework for the free flow of non-personal data was announced in the Mid-Term Review on the implementation of the Digital Single Market Strategy. The general policy objective of the initiative is, the Commission says, to achieve a more competitive and integrated internal market for data storage and other processing services and activities. In the proposal, data storage and other processing is used in a broad sense, encompassing the usage of all types of IT systems, whether located on the premises of the user or outsourced to a data storage or other processing service provider.

The proposal focuses on the provision of data hosting (storage) and other processing services, and is compatible with existing legal instruments. The initiative pursues the creation of an effective EU single market for such services. It is therefore consistent with both the E-commerce Directive and with the Services Directive. Since it concerns electronic data other than personal data it does not affect the GDPR or the e-Privacy Directive. To access the proposal, click here.