Data is the gold of the 21st century, as it had become one of the most valuable resources recently. Generally, personal or business users of any device that generates or collets data have very few rights regarding the treatment and accessibility of these data. The EU wants to play a leader role in the field of IoT (Internet of Things) by setting out the ground rules for the collection and procession of such data in the future.
To achieve the abovementioned goal, a draft regulation was adopted on 23 February 2022 in order to provide the framework rules for accessing and using data, also known as Data Act. This legislation, once it is accepted as a final text, will serve as a cornerstone of the rules of data protection among the EU, as it will strictly regulate who can access data created in the EU, and who can benefit from the use of such data. The proposed draft gained much criticism and many organizations have raised their voices in order to amend the draft. As the Czech Presidency in the European Council began on 1 July 2022, a new version of the Data Act has already been submitted and circulated, reflecting on previous comments from the industry.
For example, the original draft operates with the term “connected devices”, that are devices which gather or create data of the user (or of the device itself). In the new version of the text, users of such devices should be able to access data that they gave consent to be gathered. This means that any device that collects and sends data to be processed, shall be accessible for the owner or user of the device (for example, anonymous data gathered by software, smart home appliances etc.) This right to access could be transferred to a third party.
The new amendment also contains rules regarding “meta-data”, that is data about the collected data itself, i.e. date and place of collection, means of collection. These also have to be provided along with the core data itself, in an easily accessible, machine-readable format. Another new section has been added in order to provide users the possibility to sell or transfer their right to access these data. In addition, a key importance of the amendment is that it will not affect the national contract law of the Member States. The debate about the new legislation will begin in the following months.