The European Parliament adopted today a Regulation on the free flow of non-personal data proposed by the European Commission in September 2017. Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip and Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel welcomed the outcome in a joint statement:
"We welcome today's vote at the European Parliament. A digital economy and society cannot exist without data and this Regulation concludes another key pillar of the Digital Single Market. Only if data flows freely can Europe get the best from the opportunities offered by digital progress and technologies such as artificial intelligence and supercomputers.
This Regulation does for non-personal data what the General Data Protection Regulation has already done for personal data: free and safe movement across the European Union.
With its vote, the European Parliament has sent a clear signal to all businesses of Europe: it makes no difference where in the EU you store and process your data – data localisation requirements within the Member States are a thing of the past.
The new rules will provide a major boost to the European data economy, as it opens up potential for European start-ups and SMEs to create new services through cross-border data innovation. This could lead to a 4% - or €739 billion - higher EU GDP until 2020 alone.
Together with the General Data Protection Regulation, the Regulation on the free flow of non-personal data will allow the EU to fully benefit from today's and tomorrow's data-based global economy.”
Since the Communication on the European Data Economy was adopted in January 2017 as part of the Digital Single Market strategy, the Commission has run a public online consultation, organised structured dialogues with Member States and has undertaken several workshops with different stakeholders. These evidence-gathering initiatives have led to the publication of an impact assessment.
On 19 June 2018, the European Commission, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament reached a provisional political agreement on the Regulation on the free flow of non-personal data.
This Regulation aimed at removing obstacles to the free movement of non-personal data. After today's positive vote in the European Parliament, the Council of the EU will adopt the Regulation in the coming weeks, before it will enter into force by the end of the year. Once formally adopted, Member States will have 6 months to apply the new rules.
The Regulation on the free flow of non-personal data has no impact on the application of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as it does not cover personal data. However, the two Regulations will function together to enable the free flow of any data – personal and non-personal – thus creating a single European space for data. In the case of a mixed dataset, the GDPR provision guaranteeing free flow of personal data will apply to the personal data part of the set, and the free flow of non-personal data principle will apply to the non-personal part.
For More Information:
Factsheet: Free Flow of Data
Questions and Answers: A framework for the free flow of non-personal data in the EU