The Influence of the Data Act on the Shifting Balance between Data Protection and the Free Movement of Data


  • Pieter Wolters Radboud University


The relationship between data and European law is characterised by two objectives that need to be balanced: data protection and the free movement of data. This article analyses the influence of the Data Act on this balance. It argues that the Data Act will not significantly shift the balance by itself. Like the Data Governance Act, the Data Act primarily contains frameworks that apply when data are shared. However, the obligations and incentives to use these frameworks remain relatively limited. The strict rules of the GDPR are not affected.

This does not mean that the Data Act cannot play a meaningful role in the future. The Data Act is part of the broader European strategy for data. The extensive frameworks are not just meant for a few specific obligations to share data. They provide a foundation. It is up to other instruments, such as the European data spaces, to build on this foundation. The impact of the Data Act on the balance between data protection and the free movement of data is therefore not set in stone. It depends on the success and further elaboration and implementation of the European strategy for data.






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