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EU: Council and Parliament reach agreement on Data Governance Act

The Council of the European Union announced, on 30 November 2021, that it had reached a provisional agreement with the European Parliament on the Data Governance Act ('DGA'). In particular, the Council highlighted that the DGA will set up robust mechanisms to facilitate the reuse of certain categories of protected public sector data, increase trust in data intermediation services, and foster data altruism across the EU.

Notably, the Council outlined that the DGA will provide a framework to foster a new business model – data intermediation services – that will provide a secure environment in which companies or individuals can share data.

With respect to companies, the Council noted that data intermediation services can take the form of digital platforms, which will support voluntary data sharing between companies or facilitate the fulfilment of data sharing obligations set by law, and that by using these services, companies will be able to share their data without fear of its being misused or of losing their competitive advantage.

With respect to personal data, the Council noted that data intermediation services and their providers will help individuals exercise their rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) ('GDPR'), enabling individuals to gain control over their data and allow them to share it with a company they trust, for example, by means of novel personal information management tools, such as personal data spaces or data wallets, which are apps that share such data with others, based on the data holder's consent.

In terms of next steps, the provisional agreement is subject to approval by the Council, and will now be submitted to the Council's Permanent Representatives Committee for endorsement. Subject to the DGA's adoption, its provision will become applicable 15 months after its entry into force.

You can read the press release here.