0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

unsteady construction? building a European data economy

20 January 2017

The EU Commission has recently published its communication and accompanying staff working document entitled 'Building a European Data Economy'.

The paper builds on the foundation of the digital single market and suggests solutions to a perceived problem that Europe is not fully exploiting the potential of data for business, research and innovation purposes.

The Commission confirms that a wide ranging stakeholder dialogue will be conducted on the following issues: free flow of data across organisations within the EU; access and transfer in relation to machine-generated data; liability and safety in the context of emerging technologies; and data portability and interoperability.

The overall conclusion is that a policy and legal framework is needed to drive the data economy which focuses on removing barriers to data movement, addressing legal uncertainties, increasing the availability and use of data through data analytics and allowing new data business models to emerge.

This conclusion and some of the specific proposals have been criticised, including the proposal for the creation of a legal right for data producers to exploit data, the introduction of default contractual rules on the use of data and a requirement for open access to B2B data.

Critics argue that the Commission’s approach will only stifle and add uncertainty into the European data economy. The view is that increased regulation would fetter natural market forces and there are existing protocols that govern the value of and investment in data. In particular, critics state that organisations are already able to deal with a number of the issues posed through contractual negotiations and argue that the Commission has failed to demonstrate that there is even a problem to solve.

The Commission claims that it is only offering potential solutions to improve the exploitation of data. However, its favouring of increased policy and legal regulation to achieve this are likely to be the focus of much debate during the stakeholder dialogue, the results of which will likely shape the evolution of the EU data economy.

related opinions

AI: support for buying new technology

The world of healthtech and digitech is continuing to develop at pace and as a result of Covid-19 we are seeing it being used and implemented to a greater extent across the NHS and wider health and care market.

View blog

Impact of Covid-19 upon level of fine

Two cases have considered the issue of Covid 19 as part of the sentencing exercise. In the most recent, failures by a principal contractor Modus Workspace, who design and refit refurbishments, led to a £1.1 million fine after an engineer was injured from a fall from a roof.

View blog

Chancellor announces levy on companies subject to anti-money laundering regulations

The Chancellor’s latest Budget Report outlined that the Government will introduce a £100 million Economic Crime Levy, otherwise known as the AML Levy no earlier than April 2022 to fund action to tackle money laundering and ensure delivery of reforms in the Government’s Economic Crime Plan.

View blog

IR35 changes delayed to 2021

The much heralded, and controversial, changes to IR35 have fallen victim to Covid-19.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up