ELI Webinar on the Data Act: How to Boost the European Data Economy?


On 24 May, ELI hosted a public Webinar on the EU Commission’s proposed Regulation on harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data — also known as the Data Act. Speakers discussed the proposed regulation and its potential to boost the European Data Economy.

ELI President, Prof Dr Pascal Pichonnaz welcomed the audience, delivered opening remarks and introduced the speakers.

Malte Beyer-Katzenberger (Team Leader, Data Policy and Innovation, Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology) briefly presented the Data Act acknowledging that it built on ELI’s work (the ALI-ELI Principles for a Data Economy). Among other things, he referred to some points of complication such as the relationship between the proposed Regulation with trade secrets, GDPR and privacy laws, and third parties use of data.

Christiane Wendehorst (ELI Scientific Director, Professor, University of Vienna, Co-Reporter of the ALI-ELI Principles for a Data Economy) presented the ALI-ELI Principles for a Data Economy and the ELI Response to the European Commission's Public Consultation on Data Act. She expressed her contentment at the fact that ELI’s work was taken into consideration by the Commission and identified some differences that remain between the Principles and the proposed Data Act. Among other things, she expressed concerns regarding Article 4(6) of the Data Act, which in her view could raise some uncertainties.

Marc Rotenberg (President, Center for AI and Digital Policy (CAIDP); Adjunct Professor, Georgetown Law) analysed the Data Act from the point of view of privacy and data protection. He stressed the existence of real tension between the ambitions of the Data Act and already existing obligations on data protection. Specifically, he highlighted the difference in language between the Data Act and the GDPR.

Ioana Hreninciuc (Chief Product Officer, Homa Games) delivered reflections on the Data Act from a practitioner’s perspective. She welcomed the principles introduced by the Data Act and expressed a wish for them to appliy to a broader range of ecosystems in order to prevent big companies from setting rules that can create uneven market situations.   

Paul Keller (Director of Policy at Open Future) discussed Chapter V of the proposed Data Act and expressed his preference for more ambitious support for business-to-government data sharing.

The presentations were followed by a lively Q&A session with participants.

Christiane Wendehorst´ PowerPoint is available for download here and the webinar recording can be viewed below.