miércoles, 21 de diciembre de 2016

Free Flow of Data in Europe: The story of the cake

The European Commission has delivered almost on time the majority the legislative and non-legislative proposals contained in the Digital Single Market Strategy. Some of them even are expected to be approved by the Council and Parliament by the first half of 2017. However, there is one of them that looks trapped in a blind alley: the free flow data initiative (FFDI).

The FFDI was initially expected to be presented in september 2016, later was delayed to november 2016 after the High Level Conference on European Data Economy, and now it is not expected until the end of 2017 Q1. In spite of the pressure of part of the industry and the sympathies of some governments, there is growing doubt about its future existence.

There is war on figures about the economic impact of the liberalisation of the free flow of data, particularly the establishment of a ban on data localisation restrictions. In a manifesto following the last Telecomunnications Council, the industry estimated the potential of data in Europe in 566 EUR billion by 2020. A more realistic estimation of ECIPE put on the table the figure of 8 EUR billion per year (which means much less than 1% of EU GDP).

But free flow of data is beyond economics, it is about building Europe. I'm greatly agree with the need to promote free flow of data in Europe and the need of regulations for its implementation. After the achievement of the freedom of movement of people, products, services and capital, the free flow of data is the 5th freedom that should define the European Unión in the digital era. However, free flow of data should not be restricted to build a regulation for deregulated massively data location requirements. The regulation of  data ownership, access and liability it is also needed to ensure legal certainty in the flow of data. 

You can't have your cake and eat it. The debate around the ownership and access to data is central for the future of our society. As Morozov remembered us recently, five firms alone digest the majority of the world data. Imagine a present where five companies own the property of land in the world to foreseen the consequences for the future if we don´t regulate the access and ownership to data right now.

Free flow of data is needed, but goes beyond the elimination of data requirements. You can´t have a cake and eat it at the same time.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario

palyginti kainas