A framework for making data available

The Data Act is a key part of the European Commission’s EU legislative framework for data, increasing the possibility for businesses and consumers to access the data of products they own, rent or lease. Data from equipment businesses use in their production processes, as well as data from smart consumer appliances, for example, will become accessible. It is thus critical to the evolution of the Internet of Things. It also sets out the general rules for others to access the data; dispute settlement bodies will be set up to assist parties that disagree on the conditions.

Fair contracts and vendor lock-in

The act also tackles contractual unfairness, currently for micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises. However, the commission will also develop model contractual clauses that may assist others in concluding contracts.

One key aspect for Beltug and our members is the introduction of rules to enable switching between cloud, edge and other data processing service providers. Businesses should be able to maintain functional equivalence when switching. If this is ‘not possible’, it is up to the provider to prove why.

Data security

The Data Act also addresses “unlawful third-party access to non-personal data held in the Union by data processing services offered on the Union market”. It obliges the providers to take measures to prevent such access. Last but not least, interoperability for operators of data spaces and data processing services (i.e., cloud services) is mandatory: “[…] interoperability of data processing services to promote a seamless multi-vendor cloud environment”. With such an approach, perhaps in a few years, the Beltug events such as Getting a grip on your hybrid IT architecture can focus on the advantages, not the challenges!

Beltug’s position

The Data Act will have a profound impact on Beltug members, and includes many positive elements. We will examine the provisions in the act from the point of view of the business users of digital technology and data, and analyse which parts of the proposal should be kept, suggesting improvements if needed. This work will be done through our cooperation with the CIO associations of France, the Netherlands and Germany.