Well known on the world stage for its activism on data protection, the European Union is now proposing legislation that would create a single data marketplace across the bloc to facilitate sharing.

Effectively, the bloc is attempting to establish a similar regulatory framework to that of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but for companies and governments, the Wall Street Journal reports. The EU is calling the proposals a play for digital sovereignty.

These recognise that digital systems are more deeply integrated in organisations’ infrastructure, and this highly sensitive information will only increase with the Internet of Things capabilities that 5G expansion will bring. Concurrently, the growing use of internal big data analysis by companies seeking efficiencies is also creating lots of valuable data.

But the other intention behind it is to get firms sharing more data, which legislators believe organisations would do more freely if they could be assured of its protection.

“Businesses, both small and large, will benefit from new business opportunities as well as from a reduction in costs for acquiring, integrating and processing data, from lower barriers to enter markets, and from a reduction in time-to-market for novel products and services,” the EU said in a press release.

“The battlefield for industrial data is starting now,” said Thierry Breton, the bloc’s commissioner for the internal market at an event this week. “While being an open continent, we are not naïve.” Additionally, the proposals contain provisions that would shield certain government information from being handed over to other countries’ authorities in the event of that data’s export so that even abroad, European data will be processed to European standards.

Increasingly, hackers are targeting proprietary data, whether patented systems and processes or even market research.

While some groups decry the changes as a further step in the internet’s balkanisation, the bloc has also proposed accrediting intermediaries that would serve as intermediaries who would do the box ticking and ensure the safe passage of data from data owners and data processors.

This is extremely important in the context of the European cloud computing market, which is dominated by Amazon, Google, and Windows. Should it come to pass, it’s likely that this will hand the market significantly more business as the protections enshrined in law will mean sensitive information (previously stored in local servers) can go to the American cloud with confidence.

Sourced from the European Union, Wall Street Journal