Insights EU Parliamentary Committee adopts draft text of Data Act


The EU Parliamentary Committee for Industry, Research and Energy has adopted the text of the Data Act, which aims to boost innovation by removing barriers to consumers’ and businesses’ access to data.

The EU Parliament says that the draft legislation would contribute to the development of new services, in particular in the area of artificial intelligence, where huge amounts of data are needed for algorithm training. It will also lead to better prices for after-sales services and repairs of connected devices.

Under the Data Act, users would have access to the data they generate and companies would be able to decide what data can be shared. When drafting data-sharing contracts, the Act will rebalance negotiation power in favour of SMEs by shielding them from unfair contractual terms imposed by companies that are in a significantly stronger bargaining position.

The text also defines how public sector bodies can access and use private sector data, which is necessary to have in exceptional circumstances or emergencies, such as floods and wildfires.

The Committee strengthened provisions to protect trade secrets and avoid a situation where increased access to data is used by competitors to retro-engineer services or devices. They also set stricter conditions on business-to-government data requests.

Finally, the proposed Act would facilitate switching between providers of cloud services and other data processing services and introduce safeguards against unlawful international data transfer by cloud service providers.

The Committee’s report on the draft text will next be put to a vote by the full House during the 13-16 March 2023 plenary session. To read the EU Parliament’s press release in full, click here.