08 May 2023

CEOs call for urgent rethink on Data Act

CEOs call for urgent rethink on Data Act before it causes lasting damage to European competitiveness and cybersecurity

Major European business leaders have written to President Von Der Leyen, Executive Vice-President Vestager, Commissioner Breton, and the Swedish Presidency, urging them to pause and rethink the Data Act. Such a monumental change to established ways of doing business without proper consideration is a huge risk both to cybersecurity and to the competitiveness of some of Europe’s most successful companies.

DIGITALEUROPE and its members have three major concerns about the Data Act

  1. Under the business-to-business data-sharing chapter, there are still not enough safeguards to ensure that trade secrets, cybersecurity and health and safety are secure. This represents a huge risk to the continent’s competitiveness and resilience against hybrid threats, in a time of high inflation and war on our borders.
  2. Regarding business-to-government data sharing, the text is far too open, leading to potential misuse and risking data breaches. This will also be burdensome for smaller and medium-sized companies who want to focus on innovating the solutions of the future. Access requests must be limited to clearly defined emergency situations, types of data and public bodies.
  3. On the parts that facilitate cloud switching, the text goes against contractual freedom, stopping customers from getting the best deals possible.

 

Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, DG DIGITALEUROPE
  • “The Data Act is a revolutionary change to the way we handle data and European businesses are still playing catch up with global competitors. Up to 90% of European companies’ data is unstructured and not yet IP, it represents their future competitiveness and forcing them to share it is not a wise choice for Europe. Moreover, we seem to be hurtling through the legislative process like a runaway train. At a time when businesses are struggling with high energy costs and inflation, imposing such far-reaching and rushed regulation will be shooting ourselves in the foot. Let’s pause and reflect on whether this is really the right way forward for Europe’s competitiveness and innovation potential, and put the right protections in place to keep sensitive data secure.”
Bernd Montag, CEO Siemens Healthineers
  • “The proposal in its current form would compromise cybersecurity by overriding current safety requirements for medical devices. Both patients and healthcare professionals could be harmed if malicious entities were to tamper with the security, safety or quality of medical devices.”
Stefan Vilsmeier, CEO Brainlab
  • “The proposed regulation will rather weaken Europe’s economy in competing with especially China, by forcing companies to reveal an unprecedented level of insight into related business practices and value chains.”
Roland Busch, CEO Siemens AG
  • “Europe’s digital industry is a major driver of economic growth. We want to increase its competitiveness and continue to deliver prosperity. The EU Data Act should help us to achieve that: by avoiding legal uncertainty; by protecting sensitive data; by safeguarding trade secrets; and by advancing cybersecurity.”
Christian Klein, CEO and Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE
  • “SAP welcomes the objectives of the EU Data Act to create a common EU regulatory framework for the data economy and to facilitate data sharing. Broader data usage not only enables productivity and growth but can also help fight climate change at scale. However, the Data Act should also preserve contractual freedom, allowing cloud providers and customers to agree on terms and conditions that reflect business needs. Fixed-term contracts should not be questioned by the Act as they have proven to be beneficial for both cloud providers and customers.”
Robert Mayr, CEO DATEV
  • “We are concerned that the provisions for cloud providers create potential risks and have a detrimental effect on European innovation and market offerings.”
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