EU Data Governance Act

February 16, 2021
Min read

The proposed European Data Governance Act is another progressive indication that the EU is seeking to develop a more equitable digital economy. However, where we go from here depends on how the European Union is able to use the Data Governance Act to strike a balance between the existing tech giants and data platforms alongside an entirely new range of services designed to enable the collection, protection and exchange of data.

Currently, a handful of global players enjoy a virtual monopoly on the exploitation of data. Unlocking these data silos and regulating for data mobility and interoperability will provide the vital infrastructure required for meeting the challenges of the next century, including timely and informed decision making.

At Meeco we believe that enabling citizens, students, patients, passengers and consumers to more equitably join the value chains fuelled by data will ultimately lead to greater trust and personalisation, resulting in a more prosperous society. However, this will require new commercial models, enforceable regulation such as the Data Governance Act and the digital tools to transform our connected society.

We believe this will lead to significant benefits to including personalised health and education, increased financial literacy and better financial decisions, more informed consumer choices which also contribute to protecting our environment.

Meeco is endorsing the Data Governance Act as a founding member of Data Sovereignty Now; a coalition of leading Europe-based technology companies, research institutions and not-for-profit organisations. We are working together to ensure that the control of data remains in the hands of the people and organisations that generate it in order to play a key role in not only securing the rights of individuals over their data, but also providing significant stimulus for the digital economy.

Meeco is also a member of MyData Global and was amongst the first 16 organisations to be awarded the MyData Operator designation in 2020. We join in the goal towards developing interconnected and human-centric data intermediaries to meet the personalisation and equity challenges of open digital society.

We welcome the regulation as a needed common ground for clarifying the role of data intermediaries, building trust in these intermediaries and setting the direction for data governance, including the emergence of digital human rights.

In this context we offer the following suggestions:

  1. Explicitly include individuals as active participants in the definitions: define the key roles in data sharing (Art. 2 Definitions) so that data rights holders (data subject) and technical data holders (controller or processor) can be separated and acknowledge the type of data sharing where individuals are active participants in the transactions.
  2. Clarify the scope of the data sharing services (Art. 9 (2)) and extend it to include services that empower the data subject beyond compliance.
  3. Foster the growth of intermediaries, which offer new technologies and have the greatest likelihood of success in Europe if supported by the Data Governance Act.
  4. Open silos and implement soft infrastructure such as standards & open APIs to accelerate uptake and interoperability between data sharing services.
  5. Foster eco-systems and demonstrate the value through practical use-cases. The EU data sharing ecosystem is formative; therefore, it is imperative to demonstrate utility and benchmark best practices that contribute to a more sustainable, healthy, resilient and safe digital society.
  6. Create a level playing field for sustainable data sharing by providing funding to pioneers at the forefront of developing data eco-systems, this includes start-ups, scale-ups alongside established enterprises.

Included is a Meeco white paper detailing practical use-cases aligned to our response, including the barriers the Data Governance Act can address to make data work for all.

Meeco is a global leader in the collection, protection & permission management of personal data and decentralised identity. Our award-winning patented API platform & tools enable developers to create mutual value through the ethical exchange of personal data. Privately, securely and always with explicit consent.

Data Sovereignty Now is a coalition of partners who believe that Data Sovereignty should become the guiding principle in the development of national and European data sharing legislation. Data Sovereignty is the key driver for super-charging the data economy by putting the control of personal and business data back in the hands of the people and organisations which generate it.

The foundation members include aNewGovernance, freedom lab, INNOPAY, International Data Spaces Association, iSHARE, Meeco, University of Groningen, MyData Global, SITRA, The Chain Never Stops and TNO.

MyData Global is an award-winning international non-profit. The purpose of MyData Global is to empower empower individuals by improving their right to self-determination regarding their personal data, based on the MyData Declaration. MyData Global has over 100 organisation members and more than 400 individual members from over 40 countries, on six continents.

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