Proposed Regulation on the Free Flow of Non-personal Data in the EU

Data is a resource for digital business and we can expect more and more rules regulating this vital resource. In addition to the GDPR and the proposed ePrivacy regulation, the European Commission has proposed another regulation (COM(2017)495) within the regulatory framework of the European data economy.

In short, the proposed regulation concerns data that is not covered in the GDPR. In other words, it is concerned with non-personal data comprising e.g. ordinary business or industrial data, raw machine data, and such information. The proposed regulation will not impose burdens on enterprises as the GDPR does, but will instead seek to facilitate the free movement of non-personal data in the European Union.

Background of the proposal

To understand what the free flow of non-personal data is, one must remember that one of the objectives for the European Union is to remove all obstacles and barriers to trade between Member States, thus creating a single market where goods and services, workers and capital can move freely across borders.

With the digitalisation of the world, this means that also data should flow freely between Member States of the EU. This has been recognised as a key step in enabling the European Digital Single Market.

If disproportionate restrictions to the movement of data across Member States and IT systems are abolished, it has been estimated that an economic growth of 4 % will be stimulated as an effect.

The main obstacles in the way for a free flow of data in the European Union today have been identified as being:

  • unjustified data localisation restrictions by Member States’ public authorities;
  • legal uncertainty about which legislation that is applicable to cross-border data storage and processing;
  • a lack of confidence that authorities of a Member State will be able to enforce its powers on data stored in other Member States; and
  • difficulties in switching cloud service providers due to vendor lock-in practices.

The proposal and its impact

The proposal mainly imposes obligations for Member States to abolish data localisation rules that restrict the free flow of data and to establish procedures to facilitate requests for official cross-border data access requests made by authorities.

Thus, the proposal is not imposing a regulatory burden on business practitioners in general. However, for enterprises operating in the infrastructure sector of the data ecosystems (such as cloud storage providers), it is worthwhile to know that self-regulatory codes of conduct may be introduced, with the objective of avoiding vendor lock-in and ensuring that users are given clear and transparent information before a contract is entered into. This information would include aspects such as:

  • the technical requirements, timeframes and charges that apply if a professional user wants to switch to another service provider, or port data back to its own IT systems;
  • information about processes and location of any back-up data;
  • the available data formats and supports, required IT configuration, and more.

The European Commission considers that the proposed regulation, complementing the personal data protection rules, is an additional step towards a truly functional common European data space.

For further information, please contact Ida Häggström, Vencel Hodák or Niels Dahl-Nielsen.

News and Insights
Blog Posts

Responsibility of online platforms and the regressive opinion of the Advocate General

08/12/2020

This blog post was written by My Byström, lawyer at Synch A comment on the opinion of the Advocate General in joined cases Youtube (C-682/18) and Cyando (C‑683/18) In December, the CJEU is expected to deliver its judgement in the joined cases Youtube and Cyando, where questions regarding the liability of platforms for user uploaded materials have […]

Press release

Synch has assisted Payzlip AB

13/07/2021

Synch has assisted Payzlip AB, a company from Helsingborg, in a new share issue in which three very competent new owners have taken place. PayZlip is a Saas product that simplifies everyday life for both employees and entrepreneurs by combining the time reporting and payroll system into a single tool. For more information, https://www.payzlip.se/. Synch’s […]

Press release

Synch has assisted Adepteo AB

13/07/2021

Synch has assisted Adepteo AB in a property sale in Eslöv to the company’s former tenants. Adepteo is a leading flexible real estate company that offers adaptable buildings that can be built up, scaled up, scaled down and reused within a few weeks, always with the user perspective and sustainability in focus. Together with the […]

Press release

Synch acted as the legal advisor to Lipidor AB (publ)

05/07/2021

Synch’s Sara Sparring negotiated the license agreement between Lipidor AB (publ) and RELIFE S.r.l., part of leading international pharmaceutical company, Menarini Group, in which exclusive rights was granted RELIFE S.r.l. to register, promote, distribute, and market drug candidates for the treatment of psoriasis in EU, Turkey, UK, Switzerland, CIS, and Balkan countries. The total potential […]

Press release

Synch acted as the legal advisor to Grafana Labs

01/07/2021

Synch acted as the main legal advisor to Grafana Labs in their acquisition of Sweden-based k6. Synch has assisted Grafana Labs – the company behind the world’s most popular open and composable operational dashboards – in all legal aspects of the evaluation, negotiation, and acquisition of k6, the Stockholm-based startup behind the open-source load testing […]

Press release

Synch is adding a new product to its digital offering

21/06/2021

Synch is delighted to offer WeSynch Whistle, a legal service to ensure whistleblower protection under the Directive (EU) 2019/1937 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union Law (the “Whistleblowing Directive”) and the future Swedish law on protection of whistleblowers (Sw: ersättning av lagen (2016:749) om särskilt skydd mot repressalier för arbetstagare som […]

Press release

SARA SPARRING IS NAMED IN THE 2021 EDITION OF WIPR LEADERS

25/05/2021

Once again, Synch’s Sara Sparring has been named in the WIPR leaders, this time WIPR Leaders 2021. Profiling the leading IP practitioners from around the world, all leaders were chosen after a four month nomination process, in which WIPR sought views from 12,000 IP professionals. You can view the online directory here.