About Data Act

What is Data Act?

The Data Act is part of the European Commission’s wider data strategy aimed at making Europe a global leader in the data-agile economy.

The European Commission in February 2020 published a communication laying out a strategy for policy measures and investments to enable the data economy, including the plan to propose a legislative framework for the governance of common European data spaces, referred to as the “Data Act”.

The aim of the Data Act would be to facilitate data sharing and to provide businesses, including SMEs, start-ups, and individuals, with easy access to high-quality data to create and innovate. It would also address issues related to usage rights for co-generated data.

Why should you care about Data Act?

The proposed Data Act entered the final stages of the EU negotiation process in March 2023, called the trialogues, where the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council defend their proposals for the regulation and eventually reach a final compromise version that incorporates parts from each of the initial three versions.

The most recently circulated consolidated draft proposes a definition of a “smart contract”, which, if adopted, might influence the interpretation and application of other EU regulations. Furthermore, proposed provisions of Article 30 suggest essential requirements for smart contract executing a data sharing agreement. These requirements should ensure that the smart contract is designed to offer access control mechanisms and a very high degree of robustness to avoid functional errors and to withstand manipulation by third parties. While robustness and control mechanisms are necessary, the requirement of a ‘safe termination and interruption’ heavily undermines the core values and desired characteristics of most of the smart contracts we use today in the context of Web3 ecosystem and permissioned, public blockchains.

Data Act Timeline

While we keep an eye on political developments all the time, below are some of the most important dates to keep in mind:

19th June

Council Working Party meeting to discuss compromise agreement reached at technical level between Swedish Presidency and European Parliament.

23rd June

COREPER I meeting for Presidency to obtain a new negotiating mandate from the Council ahead of the final political trilogue.

27th June

Final political trilogue on Data Act.

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