On 6 December 2021, the European Commission published the results of the public consultation on its Data Act.
On 6 December 2021, the European Commission published the results of the public consultation on its Data Act (see the summary report, here). This legislative initiative aims at facilitating data access and use and review the rules on the legal protection of databases (directive 96/9/EC). It ensures fairness in the allocation of data value among actors of the data economy, including in B2B (business-to-business) and B2G (business-to-government) situations.
Most of the respondents to the public consultation (that are essentially businesses, businesses associations and public authorities) consider that the initiative of the Commission is necessary to further regulate data flows. The respondents point out the significant number of barriers to B2G data sharing (e.g. legal uncertainty and barriers, lack of incentives, lack of awareness). They consider that B2G data sharing should be compulsory in some key areas (as the protection of the environment, the emergencies and crisis management) and that a compensation should be organised.
With regard to B2B data sharing, the respondents confirm that this is already an existing reality for example to design innovative products and services or to optimise the supply chain. They also point out that the development of the B2B data sharing must obviously take into account intellectual property rights and trade secrets.
Finally, the public consultation provides further clarifications among others on the use of smart contracts (as an effective tool to technically implement data access and use in the context of co-generated IoT data), on questions on the use of data generated by IoT objects, and on the need to review the database directive.
These results are important for the Commission, which can now use these stakeholder views to develop its proposal.
By Edouard Cruysmans and Erik Valgaeren