07 Sep 2016

DIGITALEUROPE Statement on Data Ownership, Access and Re-use of data

DIGITALEUROPE Statement on Data Ownership, Access and Re-use of data

DIGITALEUROPE is of the opinion that contractual relations and existing rules are sufficient. It is currently premature to conclude that new legislation is needed. The existing rules should be carefully assessed according to various use cases and soft regulation should be promoted.

The European Commission has c arried out various rounds of consultations on the question of data ownership, access and liability. All of these consultations have lead to the same conclusion: legislative intervention is not necessary. The existi ng framework and contractual arrangements provide a sufficient legal framework.

First, the responses to the public consultation on platforms, which also touched upon this question, indicated that “it is no t necessary to regulate access to, transfer and the use of non-personal data at European level.” The majority of business groups, like DIGITALEUROPE, were also “against specific measures, claiming that any new restrictions on data not covered by the (personal) data protection regime should be avoided in order to deliver maximum benefit to the economy and society.” Respondents also highlighted the absence of proof of market failure and that “data protection laws deal adequately with issues of ownership, use and access regarding personal data.” The answers also indicated that there is no need for a new or specific liability regime as the current framework is sufficiently technology neutral. “It was emphasized by many respondents that there is nothing intrinsically different about IoT that calls into question existing liability regimes.” (See Synopsis Report on the Contributions to the Public Consultation – Regulatory Environment for data and cloud computing.).

Further to the public consultation, the Commission has organised various workshops where the same issue was discussed and the same feedback was provided. During these workshops, participants emphasized that there is “no need to create any new data exploitation right or similar”, as the “creation of any new right to data may actually complicate or even hinder the free flow of data”.

Some Member States are also looking into this question, but the preliminary results “confirm the view stated above that no legislative intervention is desirable at this stage.” (See Synthesis report – EC Round Table – an efficient and fair access to and usage and exchange of data.”)

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