On 3 June, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the Data Act & amended rules on the legal protection of databases. The initiative is part of the European strategy for data, published on 19 February 2020, which aims to create a Single Market for data access. The Data Act would complement the proposal for a Regulation on data governance published in November 2020. The consultation collected information on key themes such as business-to-government data sharing for the public interest, business-to-business data sharing, smart contracts, Internet of Things data stemming from professional use, data portability and so on.
On 3 September, Ecommerce Europe replied to the public consultation on the Data Act addressing the considerations of the e-commerce sector on the different provisions explored in the preparation of the proposal.
Regarding business-to-government (B2G) data sharing, Ecommerce Europe notes that B2G data sharing should generally be voluntary. Compulsory data sharing should only be considered for public interest, and it can never include commercially sensitive data. Ecommerce Europe warned the Commission that a permanent obligation could risk being very burdensome for businesses, in particular SMEs. Business-to-business (B2B) data sharing has several benefits, such as the optimisation of processes and improvement of costumer experiences. However, there are also certain challenges in requesting access from other companies’ data, such as competition concerns.
On 1 December 2021, the Commission is expected to publish its proposal on the Data Act.