Data Governance Act

Status: Proposal
Type: Regulation

On 25 November 2020, the European Commission published its proposal for a Data Governance Act. The measure is the first legislative element of the European data strategy presented in 2020. The proposed act aims at laying the foundations for a novel European way of data governance. And it does so by providing a new blueprint for the European data economy in the years to come by introducing new rules for public sector bodies, data intermediation services, and data altruism organizations. In this light, it is a key step in the definition of the European data commons by providing a new framework for greater societal reuse and access to data.

Our observatory tracks legislative developments of the proposal as it moves through the European Parliament and Council.

Timeline

Council approves final DGA text
The Council of Ministers approved the final text of the Data Governance Act (DGA) that was agreed upon during the trilogue negotiations. The DGA will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, and it will become applicable in August 2023.
European Parliament approves final DGA text
Today, the Parliament approved the final text of the Data Governance Act that was agreed upon during the Trilogue negotiations. The text still has to be approved by the Council.
Data cooperatives in Europe: A legal and empirical investigation
As part of Harvard’s research sprint on cooperative data governance, Elettra BiettiAnder ExteberriaMorhsed Mannanand Janis Wong argue that the direction data cooperativism is taking place in Europe...
... remains in line with a neoliberal focus on personal data and the individual imperative for each person to govern ‘their’ data
In this light, the Data Governance Act, despite introducing the concept of data cooperatives, would not significantly alter the status quo for collective data governance mechanisms. The authors find this attributable to the GDPR focus on personal data which would enable cooperativism for non-personal data only. On the contrary, personal data, as highlighted in recital 24 DGA, would always require consent at the individual level, therefore making any delegation or conferral of rights to a third party impossible for personal data.
Data altruism: how the EU is screwing up a good idea
In this paper commissioned by Algorithm Watch, Winfried Veil argues that the EU is not sufficiently leveraging the concept of data altruism introduced by the Data Governance Act. The author ascribes such as a failure because of the EU’s “religious approach” to personal data protection which hinders collective governance mechanisms of personal data. In this light, GDPR is seen as a straitjacket for the concept of the data for good.
Trilogue Agreement on the DGA
Today, Parliament and Council have agreed on the final version of the Data Governance Act. The informal agreement will now have to be officially approved by both institutions.
Council negotiation mandate
The Council of the European Union, under the Slovenian presidency, agreed on a negotiating mandate for the upcoming trilogue meetings on the Data Governance Act.
Parliament adopts ITRE report
The ITRE report was adopted with a majority of 66 votes in favor, 6 abstentions, and none against.
The Data Governance Act – between undermining the GDPR and building a Data Commons
As part of the EDRIgram of July, we publish a blogpost on the current state of things concerning the Data Governance Act proposal. We stress the importance of safeguarding GDPR provisions in the DGA to ensure legal certainty concerning the governance of personal data. Likewise, we highlight the missed potential of “data cooperatives” in the Data Governance Act to give rise to collective data governance mechanisms.
ITRE publishes final compromise amendments and voting list
Ahead of its vote on 16 July 2021, ITRE published the list of compromise amendments as well as the voting list.
AT, DK, FI, NL submit working paper to the Slovenian presidency
The Governments of Austria, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands – self-proclaimed “Friends of the Data Economy” – send a working paper to the Slovenian presidency on the Data Governance Act. The four countries have formulated common proposals to improve the final text ahead of the Council compromise proposal. These amendments aimed to “contribute to a flourishing and responsible data economy”, constitute the only public document so far that represents Member States’ position on the Data Governance Act.
JURI opinion adopted
The Committee on Legal Affairs – represented by rapporteur Karen Melchior (RENEW) – adopted its opinion on the DGA.
LIBE opinion adopted
The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs – represented by rapporteur Sergey Lagodinsky(Greens/EFA)– adopts its opinion on the DGA.
IMCO opinion adopted
The Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection – represented by rapporteur Sandro Gozi (RENEW) adopted its opinion on the DGA.
CiTiP Working Paper Series: White Paper on the Data Governance Act
The Centre for IP & IT law of KU Leuven published a white paper on the Data Governance Act. It offers an academic perspective to the Commission proposal on three main points. First, the authors argue that the regulation of data as an object of rights may contribute to the exacerbation of risks with the GDPR. Second, they highlight the lack of reference with the concept of European data spaces despite being central in the European Strategy for Data. Finally, they discuss the impact of the proposal in light of Europe’s digital sovereignty ambitions.
ITRE amendments
The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy publishes its amendments, collected by Rapporteur Angelika Niebler (EPP). In total 639 amendments are submitted.
The EDPB publishes an opinion on the DGA
The European Data Protection Board publishes its opinion on the Data Governance Act. The document focuses on the lack of adequate protection of personal data in the proposal, which is not sufficiently differentiated from non-personal data. Likewise, it laments a lack of GDPR primacy in data protection which could be compromised by certain provisions in the DGA. In doing so, the Board proposes a wide range of amendments to better protect personal data and ensure consistency with other policy files at the EU level.
DE presidency compromise proposal
The German presidency of the Council of the European Union publishes a compromise proposal for the Data Governance Act. The compromise aims at clarifying the scope and the definitions introduced by the DGA in light of existing initiatives in the field and clarifies the obligation for public sector bodies in making data available to the public. In addition, it stipulates more requirements for data sharing services in making data available for reuse in order to ensure their independence. Finally, it clarifies the role of competent authorities in enforcing the application of the measure and the mandate of the European Data Innovation Board.
Open Future feedback to the public consultation
We submit our Feedback to the Commission’s public consultation on the Data Governance Act proposal. In our submission, we discuss the proposal from a perspective that acknowledges the fundamental role played by Open Access Commons-based data sharing in the overall data ecosystems. In particular, we focus on the need to protect open access commons resources in the European data-sharing ecosystem, which are not acknowledged in the original proposal. Precisely, in the original text, they might fall under the definition of “data sharing services” and “recognized data altruism organizations”. For a comprehensive European Data Strategy, it is important to correctly reference the important society-wide function performed by open access common resources.
Public consultation closes
The European Commission closes the public consultation on the Data Governance Act proposal.
Public consultation opens
The European Commission opens a public consultation on the Data Governance Act proposal. It publishes the impact assessment report.
Data Governance Act proposal published
The European Commission publishes the proposal for a Regulation on European data governance (Data Governance Act). Together with the proposal, it also publishes the inception impact assessment.
Roadmap consultation closes
The European Commission’s roadmap consultation on data sharing in the EU – Common European data spaces closes.
Roadmap consultation opens
The European Commission’s roadmap consultation on data sharing in the EU – Common European data spaces opens. The Commission also publishes an inception impact assessment document.