EU Proposes Big Tech Data-Sharing: Financial Times

The European Commission wants the world’s top tech companies – Amazon, Facebook, Google and others to follow the lead of financial services firms by sharing data with small firms. The commission released a “European Strategy for Data,” and proposes compulsory data-sharing in areas with market failure. “The commission said that tech companies were able to build huge advantages by guarding their data, while banks or car companies were already required to allow third parties to access information about customers,” reports a team for the Financial Times. “New rules may also see a potential clash with privacy regulators, who have been taking steps to lock down personal data.” Europe has imposed record fines against Google, Apple and Amazon and expects social media firms to do more to police content and advertising. Lobbyists for the tech industry express concern that mandatory data-sharing could reduce innovation. Many of the firms are based in the United States, and the Trump administration opposes regulations that could reduce the US advantage. – YaleGlobal

EU Proposes Big Tech Data-Sharing: Financial Times

The EU aims to break big-tech monopolies and allow a range of data-sharing activities by companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon
Javier Espinoza, Madhumita Murgia and Richard Waters
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Read the article from the Financial Times about a proposed digital strategy from the European Commission.

Javier Espinoza is the FT’s EU Correspondent covering competition and digital policy from Brussels. Madhumita Murgia writes about technology for the FT. Richard Waters is the FT’s west coast editor, based in San Francisco. He leads a team of writers focused on tech in Silicon Valley. He also writes widely about the tech industry, and the uses - and impact - of technology.

Highlights of the “European Strategy for Data”

Citizens should be empowered to make better decisions based on insights gleaned from nonpersonal data. And that data should be available to all – whether public or private, big or small, start-up or giant.

Data is the lifeblood of economic development: it is the basis for many new products and services, driving productivity and resource efficiency gains across all sectors of the economy, allowing for more personalised products and services and enabling better policy making and upgrading government services.

The EU has the potential to be successful in the data-agile economy. It has the technology, the know-how and a highly skilled workforce. However, competitors such as China and the US are already innovating quickly and projecting their concepts of data access and use across the globe. In the US, the organisation of the data space is left to the private sector, with considerable concentration effects. China has a combination of government surveillance with a strong control of Big Tech companies over massive amounts of data without sufficient safeguards for individuals.

The aim is to create a single European data space – a genuine single market for data, open to data from across the world – where personal as well as non-personal data, including sensitive business data, are secure and businesses also have easy access to an almost infinite amount of high-quality industrial data, boosting growth and creating value, while minimising the human carbon and environmental footprint.

Challenges for Europe:

Fragmentation of regulations among EU member states

Data availability

Imbalances in market power

Data interoperability

Data governance

EU-based cloud providers have only a small share of the cloud market, which makes the EU highly dependent on external providers…

There is uncertainty about compliance of cloud service providers with important EU rules and standards, for example on data protection.

Shortages in big data skills and analytics


The vision of a common European data space implies an open, but assertive approach to international data flows, based on European values.

 1 Amazon $427;  2 Microsoft $507;  3 Google $102;  4 IBM $162;  5 Teradata	$8;  6 Oracle $182;  7 SAP $120;  8 HP Enterprise $28;  9 Vmware	$38

Big data: One list of leading big-data firms offered with the caveat – there are multiple and they vary; all firms on the list are based in the US, except for SAP, based in Germany (Source: WhizLabs)

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2020. All rights reserved.