Briefing: Free flow of non-personal data in the European Union

One of the 16 key elements of the Commission’s digital single market strategy, presented in 2015, was a legislative proposal to facilitate the free flow of non-personal data. Although this proposal was not made during 2016, whilst the Commission gathered more supporting evidence, the mid-term review of the digital single market in 2017 identified the data economy as one of the top three priority areas for action in the second half of the strategy’s implementation. The European data economy could grow 18-fold, with favourable policy and legislative conditions in place, representing 4 % of EU GDP by 2020. On 13 September 2017, the Commission tabled a proposal for a regulation aimed at removing obstacles to the free movement of non-personal data across borders. It focuses on removing the geographical restrictions on data storage in the internal market, a move long demanded by stakeholders. In addition, the Commission proposes self-regulation to facilitate switching cloud-service-providers for professional users. Other, less widely agreed aspects, such as access rights and liability are left for future proposals. Within the European Parliament, the file has been assigned to the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee.

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Source: European Parliament

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