The European Commission has proposed new rules on who can use and access data generated in the EU across all economic sectors, including manufacturing industry. The Data Act will ensure fairness in the digital environment, stimulate a competitive data market, open opportunities for data-driven innovation and make data more accessible for all. It will lead to new, innovative services and more competitive prices for aftermarket services and repairs of connected objects. This last horizontal building block of the Commission’s data strategy will play a key role in the digital transformation, in line with the 2030 digital objectives.
Key Data Act regulations
Allow users to access and share data
Measures to allow users of networked devices to access the data they generate, which is often exclusively sourced by manufacturers; and to make such data available to third parties to provide after-sales or innovative data-driven services. Maintains incentives for manufacturers to continue to invest in the generation of high quality data, covering the costs associated with its transmission and precluding the use of shared data in direct competition with their product.
Rebalance negotiation power for SMEs
Measures to balance negotiating power for SMEs by preventing abusive data sharing agreements. The Data Act will protect them from unfair contractual terms imposed by the far stronger party in negotiations. It will also develop model contracts to help such companies draft and negotiate fair data sharing agreements.
Public sector access to private sector data
Measures to enable public sector bodies to access and use data held by the private sector that is needed in the event of exceptional circumstances, especially in the case of emergencies such as floods and fires, or to comply with a legal mandate if data is not otherwise available. Data insights are needed to respond quickly and safely, minimising the burden on businesses.
New rules for cloud data-processing services
New rules to allow customers to effectively switch between different cloud service providers and introduce safeguards against illegal data transfers.
Clarification on databases containing IoT devices and objects
The Data Act reviews certain aspects of the Database Directive, which was created in the 1990s to protect investments in the structured presentation of data. Notably, it clarifies that databases containing data from Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices and objects should not be subject to separate legal protection. This will ensure they can be accessed and used.
The proposal is expected to create €270 billion of additional GDP by 2028. The Data Act will form the cornerstone of a strong, innovative and sovereign European digital economy.
Impact on Manufacturing Industry
The manufacturing industry is one of the sectors that will benefit from this proposal. The Data Act will ensure that industrial data is shared, stored and processed in full respect of European rules. It will form the cornerstone of a strong, innovative and sovereign European digital economy. Business and industrial players will have more data available and benefit from a competitive data market. Aftermarkets services providers will be able to offer more personalised services, and compete on an equal footing with comparable services offered by manufacturers, while data can be combined to develop entirely new digital services as well.
- Allow users to access and share data: This regulation can enable more competition and innovation in the market for data-driven services, such as predictive maintenance, quality control, or product design. It can also empower users to have more control over their data and choose who they want to share it with. Manufacturers may need to invest in secure and interoperable data platforms to facilitate data access and sharing, while protecting their trade secrets and intellectual property rights. IT systems may need to adapt to new standards and protocols for data transmission and portability.
- Rebalance negotiation power for SMEs: This regulation can help SMEs to negotiate fairer terms and conditions for data sharing with larger partners or platforms. It can also provide them with guidance and best practices on how to draft and enforce data sharing agreements. SMEs may benefit from lower barriers to entry and more opportunities to access valuable data sources. Manufacturers and IT providers may need to review their contracts and policies to ensure compliance with the new rules and avoid potential disputes or sanctions.
- Public sector access to private sector data: This regulation can enhance public sector capabilities to respond to emergencies or fulfil legal obligations by accessing relevant data held by private entities. It can also foster public-private collaboration and trust on data sharing for common goals. Private sector actors may need to cooperate with public authorities and provide them with timely and accurate data when requested, while ensuring data protection and security. IT systems may need to enable data access mechanisms that comply with the legal framework and safeguards.
- New rules for cloud data-processing services: This regulation can increase customer choice and flexibility when using cloud services for data processing. It can also protect customers from unlawful or abusive data transfers by cloud providers. Customers may benefit from lower switching costs and more transparency on data location and usage. Cloud providers may need to offer more interoperable and portable solutions for data processing, as well as ensure compliance with data protection and security standards. IT systems may need to support seamless data migration and integration across different cloud environments.
Read more on the European Commission website.