Open Future Salon #1: Introducing the Public Data Commons. B2G data sharing in the public interest

June 23, 2022

The European Commission’s proposal for the Data Act has introduced a narrow business-to-government (B2G) data sharing mandate, limited only to situations of public emergency and exceptional need. While being a step in the right direction, it fails to deliver a “data sharing for the public good” framework.

The policy vision for such a framework has been presented in the European strategy for data, and the Commission’s high-level expert group has made specific recommendations for a robust B2G data sharing model.

On 23 June, we organized the very first Open Future Salon, titled “Introducing the Public Data Commons. Business-to-Government data sharing in the public interest”. During the Salon, Alek Tarkowski presented our proposal for the Public Data Commons. A public-interest framework for B2G data sharing in the Data Act: a complementary mechanism to the Data Act proposal which ensures a broader B2G data sharing mandate in the public interest. Our proposal not only extends the scope of B2G data sharing provisions but includes the creation of the European Public Data Commons, a body that acts as a recipient and clearinghouse for the data made available to third parties acting for the fulfillment of societal objectives.

Alek was joined by Federica Bordelot (Senior Policy Advisor at Eurocities), who highlighted the need for an EU regulatory framework for B2G data sharing that works for cities and people – in the public interest; and by Tim Davies (Research Director at Connected by Data), who urged for balancing the power of public and private sector, and giving the public the power to use data for the public good and to be represented in those positions.

The call ended with our call to action: the EU is uniquely positioned to deliver a data governance framework that ensures broader B2G data sharing, in the public interest; but also to safeguard the rule of law, ensure democratic control and accountability, and drive the use of data to generate non-economic value.

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