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The European Data Act and Its Impact on Businesses

In an age where data shapes our daily lives, understanding the new European Data Act is crucial for everyone, from business leaders to everyday consumers. This landmark legislation, introduced by the European Union, is set to transform how data is managed, shared, and protected. In this clear and concise guide, we’ll explore what the European Data Act is, why it matters, and how it impacts you.

Understanding the European Data Act

The European Data Act stands as a key element in the EU’s strategy to cultivate a data-driven economy. It’s designed to ensure equitable access to, and usage of data produced by connected devices, aligning data handling practices across the European Union. This Act addresses the critical role of data in our modern lives, particularly considering the immense volume of information generated by connected devices such as smartphones, smart home devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The European Data Act is more than just a theoretical framework; it’s a forthcoming reality. The Act is scheduled to come into force on January 11, 2024, with the majority of its rules set to be implemented starting September 12, 2025.

Key Areas of the European Data Act

The Data Act encompasses several crucial areas, each with significant implications for businesses:

  • Extending GDPR Principles: the Act applies GDPR-like obligations to non-personal data, particularly in the context of international data transfers, enhancing data protection on a global scale.
  • Data Sharing Obligations: it mandates that manufacturers of connected devices and service providers make their data accessible to users and third parties under certain conditions, fostering an environment of open data access.
  • Prohibition of Unfair Contractual Terms: the Act prohibits contracts that significantly deviate from good commercial practices, aiming to ensure fairness in data-related agreements.
  • Facilitating Service Switching: it simplifies the process for customers to switch between data processing providers, encouraging competition and user autonomy.
  • Public Sector Data Access: the Act establishes guidelines for making data available to public sector bodies in exceptional circumstances, balancing public interest with individual privacy concerns.

Practical Recommendations

To navigate the changes brought by the European Data Act, businesses should consider the following steps:

  • Data Sharing Compliance:
    • Review and adapt your data-sharing practices to comply with the new obligations. This includes making data from connected devices accessible to users and third parties under certain conditions.
    • Develop clear guidelines and protocols for data sharing, ensuring that these practices are transparent and in line with the Act’s requirements.
  • Contractual Terms Review:
    • Examine existing contracts for any terms that might be considered unfair under the new Act. This includes terms that are unilaterally imposed and deviate significantly from good commercial practice.
    • Update contracts to eliminate or revise any such terms, focusing on creating fair and balanced agreements.
  • Safeguards for International Transfers of Non-Personal Data:
    • Adopt measures to prevent unlawful transfers or access to non-personal data by third countries, in line with the new rules.
    • Conduct assessments of the legal and judicial systems of third countries when transferring non-personal data outside the EU.
  • Facilitate Service Switching:
    • Implement systems and processes that allow customers to switch between different data processing providers without undue delay or cost.
    • Ensure that data portability is feasible in your IT infrastructure, allowing customers to transfer their data and digital assets efficiently.
  • Understand and Prepare for Mandatory Data Access:
    • Familiarise yourself with the types of data that will be subject to mandatory access, including data generated by connected devices and data held by entities subject to data sharing obligations by law.
    • Develop processes to facilitate access to this data by consumers, businesses, and public authorities, ensuring compliance with the Act’s requirements.


As we’ve explored, the European Data Act represents a significant shift in the data landscape across the European Union. It brings new challenges for businesses in terms of data sharing, access, and security. With the right approach and guidance, businesses can navigate these changes effectively, ensuring their compliance with the European Data Act.

To ensure your business is on the right track, we invite you to book a 20-minute call with our experts. Together, we can review your current practices, identify areas for improvement, and develop a strategy that complies with the new Data Act.

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Anna Levitina

Senior Associate

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