It could’ve been EU too: EC plots data-driven future

EU buildingTwo days after Brexiteers finally “got their country back”, Brussels is already planning to create a data-centric single market without the UK, in order to challenge the dominance of US technology giants, including Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

In a document drafted by the European Commission, Brussels wants to make it easier for companies operating from EU member states to have more scope to tap into the bloc’s large quantities of industrial and professional data.

The document details how European tech companies should get free access to more corporate and public data, such as environmental and geospatial, and statistical information to create “a single European data space, a genuine single market for data”.

According to a report on Reuters, the document states: “Competitors such as China and the US are already innovating quickly and projecting their concepts of data access and use across the globe.

“Currently a small number of big tech firms hold a large part of the world’s data. This is a major weakness for data-driven businesses to emerge, grow and innovate today, including in Europe, but huge opportunities lie ahead.”

The proposal outlines the need for new legislation to cover cross-border data use, new industry standards in areas such as financial services, agriculture, healthcare, and manufacturing, and data interoperability in order to pave the way for better data-sharing across the bloc’s states.

The document proposes the removal of existing competition rules that hinder data sharing, while also introducing policies that prevent large online services and platforms from imposing conditions on data use and access which give them disproportionate benefits.

The overall aim is to keep the data market “open and fair”, effectively rallying against the power of data-centric tech giants that many believe have a stranglehold on the data market.

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