News - January 25, 2023

EUCOPE signs joint letter on Data Act interplay with GDPR

On 25 January 2023, EUCOPE joined an industry coalition calling for better alignment of the Data Act with the GDPR Draft opinion by LIBE Committee as it risks curbing the benefits for innovation and is at odds with the Data Act’s objective to empower users.

We are greatly concerned about the Data Act’s undermining of the GDPR’s rules on further processing (Article 6(4) GDPR). For example, the Data Act imposes several restrictions on third parties for certain data processing activities, including the removal of all legal bases to process data involving profiling (Article 6(2)b) and restrictions on data sharing (Article 6(2)c). This would mean severely curtailing the use of the data by third parties, including legitimate partnerships between entities, which would have a chilling effect on innovation. These limitations contained in the Data Act are at odds with the GDPR which provides for six legal bases (under Article 6) to process personal data. It therefore appears that Article 6(2)b and Article 6(2)c of the Data Act would no longer be compatible with Article 6(4) of the GDPR which provides conditions for when processing is for a purpose other than for which the personal data has been collected and is not based on the data subject’s consent.

With the GDPR, the EU has set up a modern futureproof data protection framework. Yet, the Data Act could undermine these achievements and the credibility of the GDPR. Such an unstable and unpredictable legal environment will not incentivise new commercial partnerships or investment in data-driven ventures in the EU. We, therefore, urge policymakers to ensure that the Data Act fully aligns with the GDPR. It is important to recall that the Data Act’s key objective is to foster data sharing in the field of connected objects and ancillary services – not to impose new obstacles to innovation.

The joint letter was signed by: ACT – The App Association, Advertising Information Group, Alliance Digitale (IAB France), Computer and Communication Industry Association (CCIA), Federation of European Data and Marketing (FEDMA), IAB Spain, IAB Sweden, IAB Polska, IAB Europe and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI).

Read the full Joint-letter on Data Act