Extract from an article by Kristina Ehle and Stephan Kress of Morrison Foerster
The European Union is close to finalizing a new regulation on the free flow of non-personal data within the EU. This is part of an EU goal to remove technical and legislative barriers to open data flows, including data location restrictions which force service providers to build expensive local infrastructures in each region or country. The EU wants to make it easier to move, share and re-use non-personal data across global markets and borders.
Data-reliant technologies play an increasingly large role in Europe’s economy and, as a result, facilitation of the free movement of data across the EU has become a vital policy area. In terms of personal data, the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018 resulted in far-reaching obligations for companies in the EU that collect, use or otherwise process personal data.
The European Commission has now turned its attention to non-personal data, and committed itself to removing national restrictions on data flow in the hope that this will stimulate growth and establish European companies at the forefront of developing and exploiting digital technology – especially in the fields of automation, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), sustainable manufacturing and artificial intelligence.
In June 2018, the EU legislative institutions announced that they had reached agreement on a framework for the free flow of non-personal data in the European Union (the “Draft Regulation”). After its formal adoption, the Draft Regulation will become directly applicable law in all EU Member States six months after its official publication.