ETNO welcomes the EU Data Act

The European Commission has announced new laws to improve data privacy and protection, and trade body ETNO approves.

Scott Bicheno

February 24, 2022

2 Min Read
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The European Commission has announced new laws to improve data privacy and protection, and trade body ETNO approves.

The Data Act is positioned as a levelling of the playing field in the European Digital economy which, in practice, means knocking the US giants down a peg or two. It will give users of connected devices better access to the data they generate, give smaller companies more rights when dealing with giants, and allow the public sector to get hold of private data if they fancy it. That latter feature feels like a backwards step for data privacy, but what do we know?

“We want to give consumers and companies even more control over what can be done with their data, clarifying who can access data and on what terms,” said Margrethe Vestager, EVP for a Europe fit for the Digital Age. “This is a key Digital Principle that will contribute to creating a solid and fair data-driven economy and guide the Digital transformation by 2030.”

“Today is an important step in unlocking a wealth of industrial data in Europe, benefiting businesses, consumers, public services and society as a whole,” said Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market. “So far, only a small part of industrial data is used and the potential for growth and innovation is enormous. The Data Act will ensure that industrial data is shared, stored and processed in full respect of European rules. It will form the cornerstone of a strong, innovative and sovereign European digital economy.”

That remains to be seen but at least one European telco trade association is on-board. “ETNO supports the objective of fostering data sharing in the single market that underlies the proposed Data Act regulation issued by the European Commission yesterday,” it said in a published announcement. “Very-high-speed connectivity will enable the rapid growth of the Internet of Things, and new streams of data coming from millions of sensors connected over 5G will need to be exploited.”

Interesting world to end on there, ETNO. While the EU, as ever, is positioning its latest power grab as serving the greater good, the Data Act feels more like a fight over which massive organizations get to exploit the rest of us. There’s no doubt the power of the US internet giants does need reining in, but if that results in the EU grabbing control of all that valuable data instead it’s not obvious how your average Euro punter is any better off.

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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