Following the publication of the EU Data Act in February 2022, Dr2 Consultants hosted a series of three Breakfast Webinars to discuss the impact of the proposal on European businesses. The last edition took place on June 16 and hosted institutional representatives to discuss the views of the European Parliament and the Council. The event was moderated by Cathy Kremer, Senior Consultant at Dr2 Consultants.
Ms. Angelica Petrov, Policy Advisor on cybersecurity and digital policy to MEP Alin Mituța, shadow rapporteur on the EU Data Act for Renew in the leading ITRE committee, and Ms. Anna-Liisa Pärnalaas, Counsellor for Digital and Cyber Affairs at the Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU, were invited to shed light on the Data Act from an institutional perspective. Input gathered from the previous two webinars (first and second) on the EU Data Act and its impact on EU competition and sustainability and smart mobility goals fed into the discussion with institutional stakeholders.
Both speakers emphasized the importance of the proposal as one of the main cornerstones of the EU data economy. However, they also recognized that the proposal still requires a comprehensive assessment of the proposal’s real-life impact given the technical nature of some of its provisions. In addition, some clarifications are necessary to avoid putting an additional burden on EU SMEs and companies, thus guaranteeing a competitive edge for the digital economy and society. Against that background, they encouraged all stakeholders to come up with their input to implement a practical framework that works for everyone.
Ms. Anna-Liisa Pärnalaas stated that the proposal has several provisions that support businesses entering the market and empower consumers, e.g. data portability, interoperability safeguards, and unfair contractual contracts. On privacy rights, Ms. Pärnalaas underlined that this regulation should avoid a situation where requirements lead to loss of control of personal data. To tackle this issue, she mentioned that additional safeguards and clarifications about how GDPR applies to the Data Act would be beneficial.
Ms. Angelica Petrov said the European Parliament supports this piece of legislation as it comes at a timely moment with the surge of connected devices and IoT products which generate a significant amount of data. In her view, data holders should have access to the data they produce, and this framework comes at the right moment to regulate how to process and collect data, unleashing the true power of industrial data for EU consumers and businesses. Against that background, Ms. Petrov stressed how this legislation would help B2B, B2G and cloud switching. In that regard, Ms. Petrov would like to see more clarity on definitions as well as data anonymization; data sharing with Member States governments in emergency situations; and cloud switching rights including reverse switching.
When asked about the imbalance on third parties’ requirements, who would be the big economic beneficiaries, in the direction of both consumers and manufacturers, Ms. Petrov and Ms. Pärnalaas answered that this issue would require additional safeguards and provisions.
From an institutional standpoint, Ms. Petrov noted that there has been a broad consensus on major issues in the European Parliament so far. She added that the timeline is on hold for now due to a conflict of competence between committees. Ms. Pärnalaas stipulated that the Council had finished the first reading of the French presidency’s report. She mentioned that the first written comments are with the Presidency before discussions kick off in July, adding that the most active part will begin in fall 2022.
To watch the full replay of the last breakfast webinar click here.
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