Green light to the free flow of non-personal data in the European Union

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Today the plenary votes in favour for an Internal Market report on free flow on non-personal data which will help to unlock the growth potential of EU data economy.

Currently, data localisation restrictions by Member States’ public authorities and obstacles to the movement of data across IT systems prevent business and organisations in the EU from capturing economic, social and business opportunities. Legal uncertainty and lack of trust cause additional barriers to the free flow of non-personal data. In practice, this means a business may not be or feel free to make full use of cloud services, choose the most cost-effective locations for IT resources, switch between service providers or port its data back to their own IT systems.

The general policy objective of the initiative is to achieve a more competitive and integrated internal market for data storage services and activities.

MEP Dita Charanzová, shadow rapporteur on this file said:

“Today, we confirm the new fifth freedom — the free movement of data. Goods, services, capital and persons can go anywhere in Europe and after today, now too can data.

The Free Flow of Data is vital to the digital economy and the Single Market as a whole. Today, cloud computing services are backbone of everything from accountancy software to road traffic management. It is clear that, at the European level, we needed to prevent actions which would have put our digital future at risk. This includes ill-advised national measures restricting this free flow.

This is why the ALDE group and I were the first supporters of this Regulation. I hope that this will be an important step towards more access to affordable cloud services for businesses and taxpayers alike.”

The creation of this 5th freedom of movement in the EU will enable innovation in numerous sectors such as Artificial Intelligence, e-health, bid data or cloud computing. Positive environmental impacts are also expected, as locating hosting in greener and cooler countries will be possible, leading to less pollution.

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