Response to the Public Consultation on ‘A European Strategy for Data’


Christiane Wendehorst, ELI President and Co-Reporter of the ALI-ELI Principles for a Data Economy project and Lord John Thomas, ELI First-Vice President, and Co-Chair of the project together with Project Assistant Sebastian Schwamberger, contributed a response to a public consultation of the European Commission on its ‘European Strategy for Data’.

The ‘European Strategy for Data’, COM(2020) 66 final, published by the European Commission in February shows significant overlaps with the approaches of the ‘Principles for a Data Economy’. The authors of the response therefore highlight how the ‘Principles for a Data Economy’ could contribute to the proposed ‘cross-sectoral framework for data access and use’. In the view of the authors, there may be a need not for one single cross-sector framework, but rather for five different, more or less horizontal, frameworks:

1. Data contracts and wider governance schemes (cf ALI-ELI Principles Part II);

2. Data rights in co-generated data (cf ALI-ELI Principles Part III A and B);

3. Data sharing for the public interest (cf HLEG B2G Data Sharing; ALI-ELI Principles Part III C);

4. Open data of the public sector (cf Directive (EU) 2019/1024);

5. Protection of third party interests (cf ALI-ELI Principles Part V).

The special focus of the response is, however, on data rights in co-generated data. The European Commission is considering the adoption of a Data Act 2021, which would also address issues related to usage rights for co-generated data (such as IoT data in industrial settings). The ALI and ELI have already developed the concept of ‘data rights in co-generated data’ and have coined the term. This concept has already been adopted by the German Data Ethics Commission in its 2019 opinion. Therefore, the response once again illustrates the approach of the ‘Principles for a Data Economy’ and gives a rough indication of how data rights could be implemented in a Data Act 2021.

The full response can be found here.