New EU rules for the exchange of data are coming

This week, the European Parliament approved new rules for data sharing. This means that the Data Governance Act (DGA) is another great step forward.

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DGA is an EU regulation on data management. It is part of a wider EU data policy agenda.

The European Commission believes that more rules are needed in this area as our society relies more and more on data.

The regulation was presented at the end of 2020 by European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. The proposal focuses on data from public authorities, businesses, and the general public.

1. Increase trust in data sharing

Data from individuals, businesses, or organizations that are made available on a voluntary basis should be used as much as possible in the public interest. This includes, for example, data that could be important for science, health care, climate control, and improved mobility.

Organizations gathering data in the public interest should soon be able to apply for a national registry. There will then be a European logo stating that the organization is DGA compliant.

Europe is hopeful that this will encourage people to share data with these organizations.

2. Making it easier to reuse government data

The DGA should facilitate the reuse of certain information held by the government.These include, for example, personal data and trade secret information.These data can contribute value to the economy and society.

The regulation states that public authorities must be technically equipped to handle these data in a secure way.

An electronic register of government data should therefore be set up.

3. Ensuring stricter rules around data share neutrality

Data sharing service providers (so-called data intermediaries) must abide by stricter rules.For example, following the establishment of the DGA, companies are not permitted to exchange data on their own initiative.

Henceforth, data intermediaries who want to resell data must report it to a competent government agency.These organizations ensure that the companies adhere to the rules.

It is not yet clear which Dutch government agency will oversee businesses.

The goal is for data intermediates to function as neutral party. They need to link data owners and data users in a neutral manner.

New rules as good as final

The European Parliament has now approved the final text of the DGA. The European Council and the Member States have yet to do this, but it is often more of a formality.

Once a final agreement has been reached and the content published, it will take another 15 months for the new rules to apply in all Member States.