The communication of the European Commission “Building a European Data Economy” concerns Europe’s success in data-driven digital transformation. It concerns data localisation, access to data, ownership of data and liability. It should support businesses to be free to move data within Europe to benefit from the digital single market (DSM). EU member states and stakeholders will now discuss the justifications for and proportionality of data localisation measures. If the right conditions are set for Europe’s data economy to flourish it could be worth 3 per cent of EU GDP by 2020.

BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: “Data has become the bloodstream of the 4th industrial revolution. It is a crucial resource for our businesses today. But restrictions on where data can be stored create an increasing problem. This communication is a good springboard for ambitious EU legislative action to remove unjustified data flow restrictions. Only the free movement of data across EU borders will enable the data-driven economy to take hold.”

Regarding national data localisation requirements, BusinessEurope believes a legal instrument is needed to remove existing laws requiring data localisation within a certain territory. We also encourage introducing a notification procedure to ensure future requirements are proportionate and in line with single market principles.

At the same time European business reminds that emerging issues surrounding data ownership, access and liability are already accommodated for in existing frameworks.

“While we need legal action for free movement of data in Europe we believe, issues related to data ownership, access and liability are already well handled by existing frameworks, contractual agreements and practices. New EU legislation in these areas would likely restrict and undermine the development of an innovative data economy.”

Source: BusinessEurope

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