Data act: Council and Parliament strike a deal on fair access to and use of data

On June 27th, 2023, the three institutions regrouped in trilogues agreed on a deal on the Data Act. Though the final text of the deal will still need to be agreed by linguists and formally endorsed by the EP and by the Council, the content of the Data Act is now known.


The regulation proposes new rules on who can access and use data generated in the EU across all economic sectors.

It aims to:

  • ensure fairness in the allocation of value from data among actors in the digital environment
  • stimulate a competitive data market
  • open opportunities for data-driven innovation, and
  • make data more accessible to all

The new legislation also aims to ease the switching of providers of data processing services, puts in place safeguards against unlawful data transfer by cloud service providers and provides for the development of interoperability standards for data to be reused between sectors.


The data act will give both individuals and businesses more control over their data through a reinforced portability right, copying or transferring data easily from across different services, where the data are generated through smart objects, machines, and devices. The new legislation will empower consumers and companies by giving them a say on what can be done with the data generated by their connected products.


Scope of legislation

The political agreement clarifies the scope of the regulation allowing users of connected devices, ranging from smart home appliances to smart industrial machinery, to gain access to data generated by their use which is often exclusively harvested by manufacturers and service providers.


Regarding Internet of Things (IoT) data the focus was moved to the functionalities of the data collected by connected products instead of the products themselves.


Data sharing, compensation and dispute settlement

The text contains measures to prevent abuse of contractual imbalances in data sharing contracts due to unfair contractual terms imposed by a party with significantly stronger bargaining position.


Moreover, the text provides additional guidance regarding the reasonable compensation of businesses for making the data available, as well as adequate dispute settlement mechanisms.


Trade secrets

The agreement also ensures an adequate level of protection of trade secrets and intellectual property rights, accompanied by relevant safeguards against possible abusive behaviour of data holders.


Public sector bodies

The text provides the means for public sector bodies, the Commission, the European Central Bank and Union bodies to access and use data held by the private sector that is necessary in exceptional circumstances, particularly in case of a public emergency, such as floods and wildfires, or to fulfil a task in the public interest.


Benefits for customers

The new rules will also allow customers to effectively switch between different data-processing service providers (cloud providers) and put in place additional safeguards against unlawful data transfers.


Interplay with existing legislation

Finally, the new text clarifies the interplay between the data act and existing horizontal and sectoral legislation, such as the data governance act and the general data protection regulation (GDPR).


For more information, you can see here the Council press release. 



Source: Press Release

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