A Schengen for data is needed more than we think

15.07.2021 12:49

A Schengen for data is needed more than we think

A lady showing her colleague a big screen of data.

"These EU rules will lay the foundations for trustworthy data sharing, so dearly needed to promote a fair and efficient data economy in Europe”, said the European Parliament negotiator on the Data Governance Act, Angelika Niebler MEP.

Today and tomorrow, MEPs from the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee will be voting on EU rules to ensure that data moves easily, safely and freely across the EU. The Data Governance Act establishes rules for data intermediation services, which are comparable to marketplaces for data, intended to ensure a seamless exchange of data across the continent.

“By establishing neutral data intermediaries, small players as well as big companies will be able to exploit the full potential of the digital market”, recalled Niebler.

There is still mistrust around data sharing. Lately, the German Industrial Association (BDI) published a study suggesting that almost 90% of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises are reluctant to share more data because they fear unauthorised access. 40% of them say they would like to use more data but the data they need is not available.

The EPP Group believes that the Data Governance Act will increase trust in data sharing but also availability.

“The vision is a 'Schengen for data' in which data can circulate without barriers and in accordance with EU rules. This is of paramount importance if we want to develop European Artificial Intelligence applications or to process industrial data with the aim of increasing energy efficiency or improving sustainable mobility, just to mention two examples”, declared Niebler.

There is indeed huge potential for industrial data and this field is still in its infancy. Apart from the commercial use of data, the EPP Group also sees a lot of promise in the field of data altruism. “The newly-introduced concept should ensure that voluntary data donations by companies and citizens for purposes of the common good, like, for example, to combat pandemics, are made easier", concluded Niebler.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 179 Members from all EU Member States

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