The European Union Takes the Road to a Data-Agile Economy

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…Are you coming?

Last week, in an official communication to the Parliament, the European Commission published a European strategy for data. There is no doubt that the EU seeks to further strengthen data protection.

Inevitably, the digital transformation has taken whopping dimensions, with technologies pervading corporate and personal spaces all along. As data is at the core of this disruption, the European Union aims to create a European data space, where data should be collected, shared and used in the spirit of European values.

Ultimately, the EU wants to become a leading role model for a society that makes smarter decisions empowered by data. And to lay the foundation, the EU shall first establish a solid legal framework in terms of data protection, fundamental rights, safety and cyber security. The policy will enable businesses and society to confidently pursue collaborative innovations in an open, fair, democratic, digital Europe.

Current data protection and data management problems

In order to support the data-agile economy, the EU is first looking to find innovative solutions to some ongoing information security issues.

  • Data access

According to the Commission, there is not enough data available for innovative re-use, including for the development of artificial intelligence.

For example, there are critical impediments to be resolved as far as business-to-business data-sharing is concerned. The sharing of data has been very limited and insufficient in order for greater human-centric innovations to thrive. Understandably, this generally comes from the lack of economic incentives and the fear of losing a competitive edge.

There is no trust between organizations that the shared data will be used in accordance with the lawful agreements. The fear of data misuse and the lack of legal clarity on who can do what with the data needs to be conformed.

  • Data interoperability and integrity

Data interoperability and authenticity are fundamental to guarding and utilizing data value. Data creators and users struggle with significant interoperability issues when they want to communicate certain information from different sources. The EU will look to establish standard formats and protocols for collecting and processing data from different sources in a more coherent and interoperable manner.

  • Data control

Nowadays, an increasingly large amount of data is generated by consumers when they use IoT devices and other digital services. Consumers are faced with potential hazards, such as discrimination and misconduct of personal information. Indisputably, data protection is becoming even greater concern.

There is a need to provide individuals the tools and mechanisms to decide what is done with their data. And if that goal is achieved, individuals will improve their health and well-being, enjoy better personal finances, and a problem-free access to public and private services. There will be greater control and transparency regarding how their personal data is used.

  • Cyber security

The secure use of data-fuelled products and services depend on the highest cyber security standards. That is why Europe will continue to enhance and reform its systems in order to protect the data and the services that are to be built on it. The EU Cybersecurity Certification Framework and the EU Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) will play a key role towards that goal.

Ultimately, the Commission recognizes the need to protect data when it is being exchanged. Guarding how security attributes of data are managed is a fundamental prerequisite to support secure data sharing and guarantee the trust between the stakeholders.

The European Union sees new decentralised technologies such as blockchain as an opportunity for individuals and companies to manage data sharing. “Such technologies will make dynamic data portability in real time possible for individuals and companies, along with various compensation models.”, states the Commission in its report.

The Strategy at a glance

In order to achieve the Strategy’s goals, the EU plans a package of essential activities to engage in.

  • Analysis of the importance of data in the digital economy and review of the existing policy framework in the context of the Digital Services Act package (Q4 2020);
  • The EU is set to establish a legislative framework for the governance of common European data spaces in 2020; Work on the creation and promulgation of Data Act in 2021;
  • Invest in a High Impact project on European data spaces; The Commission foresee combined investments of €4-6 billion, of which the Commission could aim at investing €2 billion;
  • In 2022, the Commission set to launch a European cloud services marketplace and create an EU self-regulatory cloud rule book.

Are you in line with the data protection approach?

This Strategy is good news to ReCheck and our ecosystem, as there can be no utter digital transformation towards decentralisation without the government revising its current policies. The EU recognizing and working on safeguarding data value and integrity is indeed a prerequisite to see more businesses elaborating their data security.

We are happy to be part of this movement and be an enabler to those who are looking to bulletproof their data-sharing systems. As a bridge to decentralised technologies, we help enterprises to painlessly and cost-efficiently add a blockchain-based layer into their current systems and processes.

Incorporating a blockchain layer to their information management systems, businessesеs will be able to build human-centric products that value people’s personal information. They will protect data authenticity as a top concern.

Companies and users should be able to securely share data. Both parties should also be able to track and manage how the shared data is used. Utilizing smart contracts and digital proofs such as time-stamping, digital signatures and footprints will make communication fair and transparent.

Blockchain technology is surely on the EU’s radar. And, that is a good sign that the EU is indeed looking to advance to a more secure and progressive data-agile economy.