The new “fifth freedom” for non-personal data in Europe

EU Parliament approves “fifth freedom” and enables free flow of non-personal data in Europe.

Huge gains in efficiency for companies and public authorities are expected to result from the regulation.

The free movement of non-personal data in the EU has been approved on October 4th in Strasbourg, in order to develop the European digital economy and allow companies to compete more globally. The new rules were approved with 520 votes in favor, 81 against and six abstentions. Thanks to the new rules, that have to be adopted by the Council on 6 November, non-personal data – such as commercial, agricultural to monitor the use of pesticides or the ones for maintenance of industrial machineries – can be stored and used anywhere in the EU without unjustified restrictions.

“This regulation de facto establishes data as the fifth freedom on the EU Single Market”, said the Swedish EPP Member of the European Parliament Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, who led the negotiations with the Council on the regulation. “The new rules”, she added, “represent a turning point” with potential “huge gains in efficiency for companies and public authorities”. The only exception is now for the requirements of the geolocation of data in the field of public security. The competent authorities will also have access to data processed in another Member State for security reasons.

Written by Jesse Colzani

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