On February 23, 2022, the European Commission published the draft EU Regulation on harmonized rules on fair access to and use of data, also referred to as the “Data Act” (available here). The Data Act is just the latest EU legislative initiative, sitting alongside the draft Data Governance Act, Digital Services Act, and Digital Markets Act, motivated by the EU’s vision to create a single market for data and to facilitate greater access to data.
Among other things, the proposed Regulation:
- grants “users” of connected “products” and “related services” – meaning a digital service incorporated in or inter-connected with a product in such a way that its absence would prevent the product from performing one of its functions – offered in the EU rights to access and port to third parties the data generated through their use of these products and services (including both personal and non-personal data);
- requires manufacturers of these products and services to facilitate the exercise of these rights, including by designing them in such a way that any users – which may be natural and legal persons – can access the data they generate;
- requires parties with the right, obligation or ability to make available certain data (including through the Data Act itself) – so-called ”data holders” – to make available to users the data that the users themselves generate, upon request and “without undue delay, free of charge, and where applicable, continuously and in real-time”;
- requires data holders to enter into a contract with other third-party “data recipients” on data sharing terms that are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory; relatedly, any compensation agreed between the parties must be “reasonable” and the basis for calculating the compensation transparent, with special rules set out for micro, small or medium-sized data recipients to facilitate their access to the data at reduced cost;
- authorizes public sector bodies and Union institutions, agencies or bodies to request access to the data in “exceptional need” situations;
- requires certain digital service providers, such as cloud and edge service providers, to implement safeguards that protect non-personal data from being accessed outside the EU where this would create a conflict with EU or Member State law;
- requires such data processing service providers to make it easy for the customers of such services to switch or port their data to third-party services; and
- imposes interoperability requirements on operators of “data spaces”.
As a next step, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament will analyze the draft Regulation, propose amendments and strive to reach a compromise text that both institutions can agree upon. Below, we discuss the key provisions of the Data Act in more detail.
Continue Reading European Commission Publishes Draft Data Act