16 Nov 2023

One Data Act to rule them all? Avoiding competing data sharing rules: DIGITALEUROPE’s views on the European statistics regulation revision

DIGITALEUROPE cautions against the creation of parallel horizontal frameworks directly competing with the Data Act, as the revision of the European statistics regulation shows.

Since the release of the Data Act in February 2022, DIGITALEUROPE has been supportive of the European Commission’s ambition to foster business-to-government (B2G) data sharing for the public interest in specific situations of exceptional need, such as public emergencies.

Indeed, the use and analysis of private sector data can help policymakers make evidence- and data-based decisions to respond to public emergencies. The Data Act now gives public bodies and statistical offices new possibilities to access private sector data – through a framework which is already far-reaching.

Yet, with its proposal for a revision of the Regulation on European statistics, the Commission creates an additional obligation for private data holders to make data available for developing and producing European statistics. This obligation is without prejudice to the Data Act and to already existing reporting obligations. This would lead to the creation of a new and parallel B2G data sharing framework only weeks after the Data Act has been finalised and has yet to be published in the EU’s Official Journal.

The Data Act will have a significant impact on data-driven business models, leading to unpredictable implementation costs. To avoid furthering regulatory uncertainty, policymakers should refrain from creating new and overlapping horizontal data sharing rules, but instead provide companies with adequate support to implement the recently adopted obligations.

Thus, as DIGITALEUROPE, we recommend the following:

  • Delete Articles 17b, 17c, 17d and 17e and recognise the Data Act’s primacy to ensure that only one framework regulates B2G data sharing for official statistics.
  • Use the revision to assess and address the flaws of the Data Act, notably by further specifying data access safeguards and conditions for statistical bodies in Articles 16, 17, 19 and 21.
Download the full position paper here
For further information, please contact
Alberto Di Felice
Policy and Legal Counsel
Julien Chasserieau
Associate Director for AI & Data Policy
Béatrice Ericson
Manager for Data Economy & Privacy
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