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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.

Cloud Computing

14-05-2012

Cloud computing has, on an unprecedented scale, improved possibilities to share information and internet content as well as access to them. It has enhanced e-commerce and e-government through ubiquitous and omnipresent computing, where access to rich and multi-layered content is based on individual e-identification rather than the device used. The study examines the benefits and challenges of cloud computing, with focus being placed on delivering internet content through an unfragmented Digital Single ...

Cloud computing has, on an unprecedented scale, improved possibilities to share information and internet content as well as access to them. It has enhanced e-commerce and e-government through ubiquitous and omnipresent computing, where access to rich and multi-layered content is based on individual e-identification rather than the device used. The study examines the benefits and challenges of cloud computing, with focus being placed on delivering internet content through an unfragmented Digital Single Market, whilst at the same time protecting consumers. It looks at the special role of the European Union in coordinating cloud computing related policies, in order to avoid 27 different solutions where coordinated efforts could optimise results and lead to considerable savings.

Parlamendiväline autor

Frank Alleweldt, Senda Kara, Anna Fielder, Ian Brown, Verena Weber and Nicholas McSpedden-Brown (Civic Consulting, Berlin, Germany)

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