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EU Data Governance Act adopted by European Parliament

On 6 April 2022, the European Parliament adopted the draft Data Governance Act (the DGA), following trilogue negotiations between EU legislators.

The DGA seeks to promote and increase the sharing of data across the EU, facilitate the re-use of public sector data and assist businesses with the development of new data-rich products and services, including those based on artificial intelligence. You can read about the background to the DGA in our articles on the A&O Digital Hub and on the Council of the European Union (the Council) position about the DGA here and here.
The DGA is the first legislative proposal adopted under the European Union Strategy for Data. It aims to:

  • facilitate data sharing and joint processing of data through various instruments, such as legally binding arrangements for reuse of data, as well as technical solutions, such as pooling of data;
  • enable reuse of data collected across some areas of the public sector and to create common European data spaces;
  • regulate data intermediation services for supporting and promoting data sharing practices between undertakings and in the context of compliance with legal obligations;
  • promote and regulate data altruism by making it easier for individuals and organisations to share their data for the benefit of society, e.g. on the basis of consent or permissions.

Specific provisions are included to safeguard against unlawful transfer of non-personal data to a third country outside EU, eg a requirement to notify (and seek permission for) international transfers. The DGA also includes requirements to put effective contractual arrangements in place to protect non-personal confidential data or data protected by intellectual property rights when transferred to third countries. The European Commission may adopt model contractual clauses for data transfers of non-personal data to third countries.

The DGA will now formally need to be adopted by the Council. The Council has already issued an information note, on 11 April 2022, clarifying that the text of the DGA, as approved by the European Parliament, should be adopted by the Council without further amendments based on the undertaking signed by the Council’s representatives on 15 December 2021. 

The DGA will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU and will become applicable 15 months later. 

The press release of the European Parliament is available here. The text of the DGA adopted by the European Parliament is available here. The note of the Council is available here.