Data Act: EU policymakers close to finalizing new data sharing legislation

EU policymakers are near to close an agreement for the Data Act, a crucial proposal regulating industrial data access and sharing. Discussions cover trade secrets, governance, product safety, and more.

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The EU policymakers are close to reaching an agreement on the Data Act, a significant proposal aimed at regulating the access and sharing of industrial data within the European Union. On Tuesday, the Swedish Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers shared a revised document outlining the significant modifications and remaining political concerns. This document was circulated in preparation for the COREPER meeting with the EU ambassadors, scheduled for Friday, 23 June, to request an updated negotiating mandate based on the changes presented in the document.

Ongoing discussions cover various aspects such as trade secrets, governance, territorial scope, product safety, and the timeline for implementing the act. Protecting trade secrets and commercially sensitive information remains a contentious issue, although progress has been made in aligning the positions of the EU governments and MEPs.

The Data Act promotes the idea that individuals using connected devices should be able to access and share the data generated by these devices. It also introduces distinctions between “product data” and “related service data” and emphasizes the importance of easily accessible data. Additionally, the Data Act includes provisions to facilitate switching between cloud service providers, and it addresses topics like governance, territorial scope, product safety, data sharing between businesses and government entities, and the date when the act will come into effect.

The EU Council, Parliament, and Commission are expected to finalize their agreement on the Data Act next Tuesday, 27 June, in the trilogue discussions.