Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Commission (EC) today released its proposal on the free flow of non-personal data in the EU.  The proposed regulation prohibits EU member states from requiring that data be stored nationally unless ”justified on grounds of public security.”  The proposal seeks to remove existing and prevent further national barriers which currently fragment the EU’s Digital Single Market.

In his remarks, EC Vice President Andrus Ansip said, “We need to remove the artificial barbed-wire barriers from our digital borders that force data to be stored unnecessarily within national territory or data centres.”

The proposal covers the free flow of non-personal data – such as company data, industrial machine-to-machine data, farming and weather data.

The think tank ECIPE’s recent study recently found that removing existing data localising measures would boost the EU GDP with up to 8 billion euros per year. Preventing EU Member States from imposing harmful data localisation measures in the future would be worth 52 billion euros per year (0.37% of GDP).  The study identified 22 direct and 35 indirect data localisation measures where EU Member States impose restrictions on the transfer of data to another Member State.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association is an international non-profit tech association that has advocated for competitive markets for 45 years. The following can be attributed to CCIA Vice President and Head of CCIA’s Brussels office Christian Borggreen:

“This proposal is a boost to achieve a true European Digital Single Market as it removes national data localisation requirements, which increasingly drive up costs and prevent startups from scaling up.”

 

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