Kroes wants white paper on big data


Neelie Kroes, Commissioner for the Digital agenda and Vice-President of the European Commission, wants to publish a communication on the data value chain in June 2014. The document would contain a proposal for setting up a framework of rules on the big data market, which is rapidly developing. Big data are large sets of data stored on servers and have increased value as digitalization is gaining ground in all aspects of life, such as healthcare, but also e-commerce.

Big data storage, servers and analysis has developed rapidly in the US over the past years and its growth rates are impressive. In 2013, the turnover from big data in the US was worth 9 billion US dollar, but it is estimated to be worth 24.6 billion US dollar in 2016. In Europe, growth rates are expected to be 40%.

The internal consultations on the white paper are still in progress at the European Commission. The Commission has identified a number of core issues at the heart of this topic, such as the availability of public data, the free flow of data across the EU, interoperability issues, and the balance between data protection and data use for commercial ends. The last issue is currently debated in the European institutions as a legislative proposal on data protection reform has passed in the European Parliament, but it is still stuck in the Council.

Ecommerce Europe welcomes the initiative of Vice-President Kroes. The e-commerce sector and the issue of big data are linked, as information in big data is valuable for the industry. A white paper consists of documents containing proposals for action, in this case on big data. Ecommerce Europe is keen to learn about the thoughts the European Commission has and remains at its disposal should it require information of the e-commerce sector in Europe. Ecommerce Europe recommends that legislative action on digital issues should be proportionate and not result in administrative burdens for the digital economy.