In February 2020, the European Commission (EC) announced a public consultation on the ‘European strategy for data’ – a strategic policy vision aiming to create a ‘single market for data’ and boost the EU data economy through a number of measures, including building a new legislative framework for data governance.
Following consultation on the strategy, the EC proposed a European Data Governance Act: a new set of rules governing data use, designed to ‘foster the availability of data for use by increasing trust in data intermediaries and by strengthening data-sharing mechanisms across the EU’. In November 2020, the EC launched a consultation on the draft act, inviting feedback on any aspect of the proposal.
The Open Data Institute (ODI)’s consultation response focuses on five key areas:
- Improving access to data so that more people and organisations can use it, and to tackle the market-distorting effects of data monopolisation; and the establishment of a European Data Innovation Board.
- The need for data ethics and responsible use of data to be embedded into every aspect of data policy.
- Broadening the definition of responsible and trustworthy data governance, based on principles of ethics, engagement, and equity, as an alternative to an exclusive focus on improving individual data protection.
- The role of data institutions in supporting people and communities to take a more active role in stewarding data about themselves and thus provide a way to improve data governance and increase trust.
- The need for concrete proposals on addressing both the opportunities and risks around data, and digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) that are based on large, rich datasets.