The European Central Bank (ECB) published its opinion on the proposal for a regulation on harmonized rules on fair access to and use of data (Data Act). The European Commission had adopted the proposed regulation in February 2022.
The proposed regulation is an important element in operationalizing the European strategy for data. Creating a strong legal framework will facilitate the development of the European data economy. ECB therefore welcomes the proposed regulation and the introduction of a framework for access to and use of data derived from private sector sources; the regulation includes requirements on data sharing, transparency, and protection of confidentiality. In its opinion, ECB highlights the following key points:
- The scope of the proposed regulation should be clarified to exclude certain types of data, such as data produced by the public sector. In the context of financial services, ECB would recommend clarifying which products could be covered by the definition contained in the proposed regulation.
- The proposed regulation does not deal with the technical implementation of the legal framework for the access to and use of data. To remove obstacles to switching between data processing services, the proposed regulation should require European standardization bodies to develop the necessary standards and open interoperability specifications.
- ECB considers that the access granted to ECB and the national central banks should be broader than envisaged in the proposed regulation. The members of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) should be allowed to access and use data that fall within the scope of the proposed regulation, not only when an exceptional need to use the data to undertake the ESCB’s tasks arises, but also for statistical purposes, where this would help ECB to collect official statistics with the assistance of the national central banks.
- The proposed regulation should be amended to allow ECB and other members of ESCB to specifically use data that they may receive in accordance with the proposed regulation for the compilation of official statistics in the same way as is allowed for Eurostat and other members of the European Statistical System. Moreover, the proposed regulation should allow ECB and other members of ESCB to receive the information available to Eurostat, where necessary to undertake ECB tasks in the event that Eurostat receives this data for statistical purposes.
- While the proposed regulation defines the term "interoperability", it does not define "data space," which is referred to in the definition of "interoperability." Similarly, the proposed regulation does not specify what "operators of data spaces" are. Both terms should be clearly defined for the sake of legal certainty.
- ECB notes that there is inconsistency between the definition and the description found in recital 20 of the proposed regulation, which imply that users are allowed to access the data that they themselves generate. While this can be straightforward where there is a single user, it is not clear what happens where several persons or entities own a product or are party to a lease or rental agreement, as acknowledged in the same recital. In such cases, the persons or entities owning the product may not be the persons or entities generating data through its use. The proposed regulation should specify that, in such cases, the persons or entities that own a product may access data generated through its use.
Related Link: Opinion (PDF)
Keywords: Europe, EU, Banking, Securities, Data Act, Regtech, Data Governance, Opinion, EC, ECB
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