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Free flow of non-personal data in the European Union

25-01-2019

One of the 16 key elements of the Commission’s digital single market strategy, presented in 2015, was a legislative proposal to facilitate the free flow of non-personal data. The mid-term review of the digital single market in 2017 identified the data economy as one of the top three priority areas in the second half of the strategy’s implementation. It found the European data economy could grow 18-fold, given favourable policy and legislative conditions, representing 4 % of EU GDP by 2020. On 13 ...

One of the 16 key elements of the Commission’s digital single market strategy, presented in 2015, was a legislative proposal to facilitate the free flow of non-personal data. The mid-term review of the digital single market in 2017 identified the data economy as one of the top three priority areas in the second half of the strategy’s implementation. It found the European data economy could grow 18-fold, given favourable policy and legislative conditions, representing 4 % of EU GDP by 2020. On 13 September 2017, the Commission tabled a proposal for a regulation aimed at removing obstacles to the free movement of non-personal data across borders. It focuses on removing the geographical restrictions on data storage in the internal market, a move long demanded by stakeholders. In addition, the Commission proposes self-regulation to facilitate switching cloud-service-providers for professional users. Other, less widely agreed aspects, such as access rights and liability were left for future proposals. The European Parliament adopted the legislation on 3 October 2018 and it was approved by the Council of Ministers on 9 November. The regulation was signed by both institutions on 14 November and published in the Official Journal on 28 November. It will be directly applicable in all Member States from 18 June 2019. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Public Security Exception in the Area of non-personal Data in the European Union

16-04-2018

In order to avoid conflict with the freedom to conduct a business and the freedom of contract the wording of article 4(1) should be amended and be addressed to the Member States; • The proposal underplays that information security has a legal dimension to it, notoriously so because member states’ national security activities operate outside the scope of EU law; • The principle aversion against locality that emanates from the proposal may not be fully aligned with state-of-the-art technology where ...

In order to avoid conflict with the freedom to conduct a business and the freedom of contract the wording of article 4(1) should be amended and be addressed to the Member States; • The proposal underplays that information security has a legal dimension to it, notoriously so because member states’ national security activities operate outside the scope of EU law; • The principle aversion against locality that emanates from the proposal may not be fully aligned with state-of-the-art technology where multiple data mirrors geographically distribute a dataset. For example, one local mirror is advisable for business continuity in the event of a disruption of transmission infrastructure; • Not all non-personal data is created equal; from the stream of non-personal data that is for example generated in the Internet of Things (IoT) data necessary to control real world devises should in addition be locally accessible; • Whithout contradicting the philosophy behind the free flow of non-personal data proposal this briefing presents examples for interventions that should be justifyable on grounds of public policy or the protection of health and life of humans, animals or plants.

Optimal Scope for Free Flow of Non-Personal Data in Europe

15-03-2018

Data is not static in a personal/non-personal classification – with modern analytic methods, certain non-personal data can help to generate personal data – so the distinction may become blurred. Thus, de-anonymisation techniques with advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and manipulation of large datasets will become a major issue. In some new applications, such as smart cities and connected cars, the enormous volumes of data gathered may be used for personal information as well as for non-personal ...

Data is not static in a personal/non-personal classification – with modern analytic methods, certain non-personal data can help to generate personal data – so the distinction may become blurred. Thus, de-anonymisation techniques with advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and manipulation of large datasets will become a major issue. In some new applications, such as smart cities and connected cars, the enormous volumes of data gathered may be used for personal information as well as for non-personal functions, so such data may cross over from the technical and non-personal into the personal domain. A debate is taking place on whether current EU restrictions on confidentiality of personal private information should be relaxed so as to include personal information in free and open data flows. However, it is unlikely that a loosening of such rules will be positive for the growth of open data. Public distrust of open data flows may be exacerbated because of fears of potential commercial misuse of such data, as well of leakages, cyberattacks, and so on. The proposed recommendations are: to promote the use of open data licences to build trust and openness, promote sharing of private enterprises’ data within vertical sectors and across sectors to increase the volume of open data through incentive programmes, support testing for contamination of open data mixed with personal data to ensure open data is scrubbed clean - and so reinforce public confidence, ensure anti-competitive behaviour does not compromise the open data initiative.

Free flow of non-personal data in the European Union

13-02-2018

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above Commission proposal (the proposal), submitted on 13 September 2017 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO). The creation of a connected digital single market is one of the ten priorities identified by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in his political guidelines for the Commission at the start ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above Commission proposal (the proposal), submitted on 13 September 2017 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO). The creation of a connected digital single market is one of the ten priorities identified by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in his political guidelines for the Commission at the start of his mandate. In its digital single market strategy (DSM), the Commission stated that 'Any unnecessary restrictions regarding the location of data within the EU should both be removed and prevented' and committed to proposing an initiative to tackle restrictions on the free movement of data and unjustified restrictions on the location of data for storage or processing purposes. The challenges to the data economy are also specifically discussed in the 2017 communication on building a European data economy, which recognises that 'unjustified restrictions on the free movement of data are likely to constrain the development of the EU data economy [and] impair the freedom to provide services and the freedom of establishment stipulated in the Treaty'. The aim of the proposal is to remove geographical restrictions on the storage of non-personal data in the internal market and to facilitate switching between cloud service providers and the porting of data. It is meant to complement the 2016 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which provides a single set of rules for the protection of personal data and provides the basis for the free flow of such data. Thus, for the purposes of the proposal, data is defined as 'data other than personal data as referred to in' the GDPR. The Commission seeks to build upon the existing applicable legal framework that regulates the internal market for data services (E commerce Directive, Services Directive, Transparency Directive), and pursues a high level of cybersecurity in the EU (NIS Directive), while at the same time remaining consistent with the existing provisions.

Registro de las personas a bordo de los buques de pasaje

27-09-2017

Si bien las aguas de la Unión figuran entre las más seguras del mundo para los viajeros, cuando se produce una emergencia las autoridades encargadas de la búsqueda y el salvamento han de saber inmediatamente el número de personas desaparecidas. A tal fin, la Comisión Europea propuso que se digitalizase el registro de los pasajeros a bordo de los buques procedentes de puertos de la Unión y con destino a ellos. La propuesta forma parte de una revisión más amplia de la legislación de la Unión sobre ...

Si bien las aguas de la Unión figuran entre las más seguras del mundo para los viajeros, cuando se produce una emergencia las autoridades encargadas de la búsqueda y el salvamento han de saber inmediatamente el número de personas desaparecidas. A tal fin, la Comisión Europea propuso que se digitalizase el registro de los pasajeros a bordo de los buques procedentes de puertos de la Unión y con destino a ellos. La propuesta forma parte de una revisión más amplia de la legislación de la Unión sobre la seguridad de los buques de pasaje cuyo objetivo es simplificar las normativas existentes y reducir los costes administrativos, al tiempo que se mantiene la seguridad de los viajes por mar.

Cloud computing: An overview of economic and policy issues

26-05-2016

Cloud computing is a model for providing information and communication technology (ICT) services over the internet. Businesses, public bodies and individuals can all benefit through lower costs, global access to data and applications, flexibility in provision, and the ability to innovate without large capital costs. Cloud computing may also have beneficial effects on energy consumption and carbon emissions. However, cloud computing raises concerns about personal data protection and privacy, security ...

Cloud computing is a model for providing information and communication technology (ICT) services over the internet. Businesses, public bodies and individuals can all benefit through lower costs, global access to data and applications, flexibility in provision, and the ability to innovate without large capital costs. Cloud computing may also have beneficial effects on energy consumption and carbon emissions. However, cloud computing raises concerns about personal data protection and privacy, security and interoperability and portability of data and applications, as well as contract terms that may be overly restrictive of customers' rights. The European Commission considers cloud computing central to the EU's competitiveness and a key to economic growth and innovation. The EU has provided support to research in cloud computing. Determining the appropriate responses to the challenges of cloud computing is part of the European Commission's Digital Single Market strategy. The Commission has announced its intention to propose a 'free flow of data initiative', tackling restrictions on where data is located, and a European Cloud initiative that will cover certification of cloud services, reduce the risks of vendor lock-in, and provide a research cloud for researchers to share access to data.

Completar la adopción de una Directiva sobre PNR de la UE

07-04-2016

La votación del texto de transacción sobre la propuesta de Directiva sobre PNR (registro de nombres de los pasajeros) de la UE, objeto de debate durante largo tiempo, está prevista ahora para el periodo parcial de sesiones de abril. La Directiva tiene por finalidad regular el tratamiento y la comunicación de datos del registro de nombres de los pasajeros por los Estados miembros en el marco de la lucha contra el terrorismo y los delitos graves, estableciendo al mismo tiempo una serie de salvaguardas ...

La votación del texto de transacción sobre la propuesta de Directiva sobre PNR (registro de nombres de los pasajeros) de la UE, objeto de debate durante largo tiempo, está prevista ahora para el periodo parcial de sesiones de abril. La Directiva tiene por finalidad regular el tratamiento y la comunicación de datos del registro de nombres de los pasajeros por los Estados miembros en el marco de la lucha contra el terrorismo y los delitos graves, estableciendo al mismo tiempo una serie de salvaguardas de la protección de los datos.

Data Saves Lives: The Impact of the Data Protection Regulation on Personal Data Use in Cancer Research

15-01-2016

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of the workshop on data saves lives, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday 19 November 2015. The aim of the workshop was to provide background information and advice regarding the proposed General Data Protection Regulation and the impact it may have on the use of personal health data in cancer research. During the first part of the workshop the policy context and state of play of the proposed new Regulation were presented ...

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of the workshop on data saves lives, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday 19 November 2015. The aim of the workshop was to provide background information and advice regarding the proposed General Data Protection Regulation and the impact it may have on the use of personal health data in cancer research. During the first part of the workshop the policy context and state of play of the proposed new Regulation were presented. An update on the Trilogue discussions and latest amendments to the text of the Regulation were given; obstacles and opportunities for harmonisation of cancer data were also discussed. The second part of the workshop focused on the impact of the proposed Regulation on cancer research. Access to data, ethical standards, data storage, and a European project on cancer survival were covered during this session. All presentations highlighted the need for a broad consent (a one-time consent given by data subjects to allow the use of their data for a variety of research studies which are subject to strict criteria) in order to make cancer research possible. Finally, future developments based on the experience of healthcare providers, patients and the industries were discussed. Possible practical solutions were given that could solve the obstacles of the proposed Regulation faced by the cancer research community.

Autor externo

Paola BANFI, Rachel DEMPSEY, Manon EMONTS and Hana SPANIKOVA

Big Data and Smart Devices and their Impact on Privacy

21-09-2015

The numerous debates triggered by the increased collection and processing of personal data for various – and often unaccountable - purposes are particularly vivid at the EU level. Two interlinked, and to some extent conflicting, initiatives are relevant here: the development of EU strategies promoting a data-driven economy and the current reform of the EU personal data protection legal framework in the context of the adoption of a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In this context, and focusing ...

The numerous debates triggered by the increased collection and processing of personal data for various – and often unaccountable - purposes are particularly vivid at the EU level. Two interlinked, and to some extent conflicting, initiatives are relevant here: the development of EU strategies promoting a data-driven economy and the current reform of the EU personal data protection legal framework in the context of the adoption of a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In this context, and focusing on the development of Big Data practices, smart devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), this Study shows that the high degree of opacity of many contemporary data processing activities directly affects the right of the individuals to know what is being done with the data collected about them. This Study argues that the promotion of a data-driven economy should not underestimate the challenges raised for privacy and personal data protection and that strengthening the rights of digital citizens should be the main focus of the current debates around the GDPR.

Autor externo

Gloria González Fuste and Amandine Scherrer

A new chapter in the data retention controversy

28-01-2014

In December 2013, Advocate-General Pedro Cruz Villalón delivered his opinion in a highly publicised case before the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) concerning the Data Retention Directive. This has reignited the debate over this controversial measure, described by the European Data Protection Supervisor as "the most privacy-invasive instrument ever adopted by the EU".

In December 2013, Advocate-General Pedro Cruz Villalón delivered his opinion in a highly publicised case before the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) concerning the Data Retention Directive. This has reignited the debate over this controversial measure, described by the European Data Protection Supervisor as "the most privacy-invasive instrument ever adopted by the EU".

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