European Union (EU) countries and EU lawmakers have agreed on rules that govern how Big Tech (including Apple) and other companies use European consumer and corporate data, with safeguards against non-EU governments gaining illegal access, reports Reuters.
The EU is a supranational political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, proposed the Data Act last year to cover data generated in smart gadgets, machinery and consumer products, part of a raft of legislation aimed at curbing the power of U.S. tech giants. EU concerns about data transfers have grown following revelations by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden in 2013 of mass U.S. surveillance, notes Reuters.
The European Parliament passed the Data Act on March 14, but negotiations among EU lawmakers on the bill’s final version have been ongoing until now. The act is focused on the fair use of industrial data and removing barriers to fairly sharing data generated by a range of data-centered services, such as the Internet of Things.
“Tonight’s agreement on the Data Act is a milestone in reshaping the digital space…we are on the way of a thriving EU data economy that is innovative and open — on our conditions,” EU industry chief Thierry Breton said in a tweet.