Striving for a Data-Driven Economy

On Friday, 16th September, the Malta Business Bureau (MBB) held an informative webinar discussing the details of the European Union’s proposed Data Act and its local implications. The Data Act is one priority that stems from the European Data Strategy which aims to make the EU a leader in a today’s data-driven society.

The webinar was introduced by MBB President, Ms Alison Mizzi who highlighted the importance of understanding the potential of data and how the wide use of this data across the member states can set us up for a better and more prosperous future. During her address, Ms Mizzi remarked that, “within the business context, facilitated data access is one of the pathways in achieving this Business resilience as more businesses are encouraged to innovate and grow through the use of secure and dynamic data.”

Dr Marthese Protelli, CEO at the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, commented on the Data Act from the Maltese businesses perspective. Dr Portelli referred to statistics in emphasising the importance of legislating correctly stating, “Data is an untapped potential which all business can benefit from. Current use is very low with statistics showing that only 20% of industrial data is put to good use.  We need to establish a fair system of what can be shared, with whom and on what basis.”

Ms Maria Rosaria Coduti from DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology at the European Commission gave an in-depth presentation of the EU Data Act and what it constitutes of. She explained to the audience, which was predominantly made up of business leaders, that the Data Act comes at an opportune time as it tackles hinderances to Europe’s development of its data economy by tackling the high transaction costs of data sharing, the insufficient availability of data for reuse and the existent regulatory fragmentation.

Dr Paul Micallef Grimaud, Partner at Ganado Advocates, presented a review of the more salient articles of this Data Act from a legal perspective. Dr Micallef Grimaud explained how through the Data Act “manufacturers of connected products and providers of related services are obliged to make data generated through the use of the products or services available, by default, to the user in an easy, secure and directly accessible manner.”

Following the main presentations, questions were fielded from the audience in clarifying the points that the speakers had presented as well as getting the main reaction from Maltese businesses in light of the proposed EU Data Act. Some noteworthy points raised focused on the enforcement and training in regulating the use of this data, the Act’s interoperability with other frameworks and whether this Act would create the need for new personnel or offices in tackling the obligations under the framework.

For further information on the EU Data Act, please contact the Malta Business Bureau on infobrussels@mbb.org.mt

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