EU countries agree on a new ‘data bill’ to curb the power of Big Tech companies

EU countries have agreed on rules governing to rules that governed the use of European consumer and corporate data by Big Tech and other companies. The new agreement called Data Act was reached after seven hours of talks between EU lawmakers. It was proposed by the European Commission last year in a bid to protect data generated by smart gadgets and other consumer products while aiming to curb the power of US tech giants.

EU Commissioner Thierry Breton in a tweet about the new agreement wrote “Tonight’s agreement on the Data Act is a milestone in reshaping the digital space…we are on the way of a thriving EU data economy that is innovative and open — on our conditions ,”

“Today’s agreement will accelerate our Union’s digital transformation. Once the data act enters into force, it will unlock the economic and social potential of data and technologies and contribute to an internal market for data. It will enhance the single market, allowing data to flow freely within the EU and across sectors for the benefit of our citizens and businesses.” Swedish Minister for public administration Erik Slottner was quoted as saying in a release by the Council of the European Union.

According to the Council of European Union, the data act allows individuals and businesses more control over their data generated through smart objects, machines and devices. They also allow individuals and companies to say what can be done with data generated by their connected products.

The Data Act will make it easier to switch between providers of data processing services, introduce safeguards against unlawful data transfer by cloud service providers and develop interoperability standards for data that can be reused between sectors.

The new Data Act will also allow public sector bodies like the Council of European Union, European Central Bank and Union banks to access data held by private companies in cases of public emergencies like floods or wildfires.

(With input from Reuters)

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Updated: 28 Jun 2023, 07:08 AM IST

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