01 December 2023


On the 27th of November, the Council adopted a new Regulation on harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data (Data Act). The regulation sets up new rules on who can access and use data generated in the EU across all economic sectors. Companies and individuals will be able to access the data(base) generated using their products or services and decide and even reuse them. For example, car owners could choose in the future to share certain vehicle data with a mechanic or their insurance company.

The proposal aims to 1) ensure fairness in the allocation of value from data among actors in the digital environment 2) stimulate a competitive data market 3) open opportunities for data-driven innovation 4) make data more transparent and accessible to all. The new law also aims to ease the switching between providers of data processing services and provides for the development of interoperability standards for data to be reused between sectors.

The new law contains measures to prevent abuse of contractual imbalances in data-sharing contracts therefore protecting EU companies from unfair agreements and giving SMEs more room for manoeuvre. Moreover, the text of the regulation provides additional guidance by the Commission regarding the reasonable compensation of businesses for making the data available. Safeguards against unlawful data transfers have been also introduced, as have interoperability standards for data sharing and processing. This new regulation consequently introduces the distinction between ‘product data’ and ‘related service data’, from which readily available data can be shared. The initiative will also have a legislative effect on the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) data - those devices with sensors, processing ability, software and other technologies that connect and exchange data. The new law focuses particularly on the functionalities of the data collected by connected products instead of the products themselves. 

Following the Data Governance Act adopted by the co-legislators last year, the Commission proposed on 23 February 2022 measures for a fair and innovative data economy (Data Act)  On 27 June 2023, the Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on this file. This regulation is the second main legislative initiative resulting from the Commission’s February 2020 European strategy for data, which aims to make the EU a leader in our data-driven society. While the data governance act created the processes and structures to facilitate data sharing, this new law clarifies who can create value from data and under which conditions. This key digital principle will contribute to creating a solid and fair data-driven economy and guide the EU’s digital transformation by 2030).

The new regulation will be published in the EU’s official journal.