On 30 November 2021, the Council of the European Union (the Council) and the European Parliament announced that they had reached a provisional agreement on the Data Governance Act (DGA), proposed by the European Commission on 25 November 2021.

The DGA is designed to promote the availability of data and contains measures which, among other things, facilitate the reuse of certain data held by the public sectors and make it easier and safer for companies and individuals to make their data available for the wider common good.

The DGA will provide a framework to foster "data intermediation services", a new business model aimed at providing companies and individuals with a secure environment within which they can share data. Such services can take the form of digital platforms, which support voluntary data sharing and which can be used by companies without the risk that data will be misused or result in loss of competitive advantage.

The DGA is designed to foster "data altruism for the common good" by making it easier for individuals and companies to make data voluntarily available for key areas, such as medical research projects. The DGA provides for voluntary certification by service providers to make it easy to identify compliance providers of data intermediation services and data altruism organisations.

The DGA will also create safeguards for public sector data, data intermediation services and data altruism organisations to prevent the unlawful transfer of non-personal data and/or governmental access to such data, mirroring similar safeguards for personal data as already exist under the EU General Data Protection Regulation.

Alongside this, the European Data Innovation Board will be created, to assist and advise the European Commission on key issues in this area, including "the interoperability of data intermediation services" and how to facilitate the development of data spaces.

The provisional agreement is subject to approval by the Council and if approved will apply 15 months after the entry into force of the DGA.

For further information on this topic please contact Ruth Haynes, Sarah Perry or Gayle McFarlane at Eversheds Sutherland by telephone (+44 20 7919 4500) or email ([email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]). The Eversheds Sutherland website can be accessed at www.eversheds-sutherland.com.