The EU Data Act faces opposition from universities and industry representatives. Universities demand better access to industrial data for researchers and further policy changes. Meanwhile, companies like Siemens and SAP argue that the proposal is rushed and restrictive, posing risks to trade secrets and European competitiveness. Concerns center around mandatory data sharing with third parties and potential disclosure of sensitive information, leading to calls for more safeguards and limitations. The Data Act also aims to foster fair competition and innovation in data-sharing while ensuring user access, fair terms, and protection of non-personal data.
Understanding the EU data act
The EU Data Act is a proposed legislation aimed at unlocking the potential of industrial data sharing in the European economy, with the ultimate goal of boosting the EU’s GDP by €270 billion by 2028. The Act seeks to address concerns such as unclear data use and access rights, barriers to fair data-sharing agreements, difficulties in switching between cloud and edge services, and the limited ability to combine data from various sectors. By removing these barriers, the Data Act aims to empower both individuals and businesses, giving them more control over the data generated by their connected products, and fostering innovation in the data economy.
Universities call for better access to data
Universities have voiced their dissatisfaction with the initial legislation, arguing for better access to industrial data for researchers and calling for further policy changes. They are particularly concerned with provisions that reflect the importance of enabling and supporting research, such as ensuring that compensation does not exceed the technical and organisational costs of making data available, and enabling access to and reuse of data for researchers to address public emergencies. Julien Chicot, senior policy officer at the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities, stated that universities would have preferred a more ambitious provision for research data purposes, but they are generally satisfied with the proposed changes to the text.
Industry representatives express concerns
Companies like Siemens and SAP, along with other industry representatives, have criticized the current proposal as rushed, restrictive, and potentially harmful to trade secrets and European competitiveness. They are particularly concerned about the mandatory data sharing with third parties and the potential disclosure of sensitive information, which could jeopardize trade secrets and cybersecurity. Digital Europe, a lobby group representing industry interests, has called for a pause and a rethink of the legislation, stressing the need for proper protections to keep sensitive data secure.