A view from Brussels: European strategy for data takes shape

It’s the second week in January and business is definitely picking up with catchups over coffee, parliamentary debates and regulators’ announcements. Brussels has just a few months left to wrap up — or at least advance — close to 150 files, legislative and others.

Among them is the European Health Data Space. One ambition under the European strategy for data, proposed in 2020, was to establish common European data spaces to govern access and reuse of data from various sectors across the EU. The European Health Data Space was the first to emerge. The EHDS aims to ensure health data is more accessible within Europe for health care, research and innovation, and improved policymaking, while at the same time securing individuals’ control over their own health data.

The European Commission proposed the regulation on the EHDS 3 May 2022. The European Council and Parliament adopted their negotiating positions on 6 and 13 Dec. 2023, respectively. Trilogue negotiations have just started. Nevertheless, the European strategy for data is slowly, but surely, taking shape not only with the recent progress on the EHDS, but also with the entry into force of the Data Act on 11 Jan.


  • The European Commission designated a second set of very large online platforms under the Digital Services Act right before the Christmas break. Three companies made it to the list for meeting the threshold of reaching at least 45 million monthly active users: Pornhub, Stripchat and XVideos (sensing a theme there). This follows a first set of 19 companies designated in April 2023, with the DSA taking effect in August 2023.
  • As artificial intelligence is the new hype in many decision circles, competition authorities are also engaging in the space. At the EU level, European Vice-President Margrethe Vestager is starting to look deeper into competition considerations in both virtual worlds and generative AI. “We are inviting businesses and experts to tell us about any competition issues that they may perceive in these industries, whilst also closely monitoring AI partnerships to ensure they do not unduly distort market dynamics,” Vestager said in the Commission’s call for contributions.

The indicative list of generative AI topics on which stakeholders can provide input range across the main components necessary to build, train, deploy and distribute generative AI systems/components; the main drivers of competition for their provision, distribution or integration; the rationale of the investments and acquisitions of large companies in small providers of generative AI systems and components; and whether the emergence of generative AI could trigger the need to adapt EU legal antitrust concepts, and investigation tools and practices.

Requests for information have also been sent to several large digital players to gather information about some of their agreements with generative AI developers and providers to investigate the impact of these partnerships on market dynamics.

As a sub-line, the Commission also indicates it will be checking whether Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI could fall under EU Merger Regulation rules.

  • The IAPP social agenda is also populating quite fast, starting with our upcoming Data Protection Intensive: UK 2024 in London 28-29 Feb., followed by the Global Privacy Summit 2024 in Washington, D.C. 3-4 April, and our second AI Governance Global 2024 in Brussels 4-5 June. The call for proposals for AIGG is still open for a few days so make sure you suggest the panels we are waiting to see. IAPP members are also well-served with many KnowledgeNet Meetings scheduled across Europe starting with Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Lithuania and The Netherlands in the coming weeks.

This article was originally published by a iapp.org . Read the Original article here. .