Tech giants to be forced to share more data under EU proposal

The European Union is proposing legislation that would force more data sharing among companies in Europe—aiming to loosen the grip officials say a few big tech companies have on some commercial and industrial data.

The new rules, proposed Wednesday in a bill called the Data Act, aim to help smaller companies keep up with big ones in the race to profit from troves of non-personal data generated by connected products, ranging from smart appliances to automobiles. The issue is increasingly relevant as more devices generate data used for control and monitoring, such as in smart homes and factories. The volume of such data will balloon with the rollout of 5G technologies.

But big tech companies complain that the bill discriminates against them and would effectively push many companies operating in Europe to store more of their data in Europe, with European providers, rather than sending it overseas or using American companies.

“The Data Act will ensure that industrial data is shared, stored and processed in full respect of European rules,” Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the internal market, said. The European Commission said it anticipates the legislation could add 270 billion euros, equivalent to $305.76 billion, to the European economy by 2028.

Wednesday’s proposal is part of the biggest proposed expansion of global tech regulation in decades. The EU is in the final stages of settling on the…


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