EU industry chief defends data laws passed by Big Tech


Brussels June 23, 2010 EU industry chief Thierry Breton has defended draft laws aimed at preventing non-EU governments from illegally accessing EU data.

Breton’s draft data law proposed earlier last year is in final negotiations between the European Commission, EU countries and EU lawmakers. The parties are expected to reach an agreement on the final details next week before the legislation is passed.

It sets out rights and obligations on the use of EU consumer and corporate data generated by smart gadgets and machinery as well as consumer goods, and is the latest in a series of laws designed to curb the power of US tech giants.

“Our European data strategy is to open up a lot of big data and put in place how that data should be shared, stored and processed. This will benefit all businesses – Europeans, Americans and others,” Breton said in a speech delivered at the opening of the European Union office in San Francisco.

“Safety is not protection,” he said.

Big US tech companies have also criticized European companies, saying the data law could hamper international data sharing.

Siemens ( SIEGn.DE ) and SAP ( SAPG.DE ) said last month that a provision requiring companies to share data with third parties to provide after-market or other data-driven services would put trade secrets at risk.

In San Francisco, Breton will meet Twitter owner Elon Musk, Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Nvidia CEO Jenson Huang and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. He wants to convince companies to sign up to his AI Treaty, which aims to get EU AI rules in place before they come into effect in two years.

He also said that he will be heading to Asia next week to discuss the digital agenda and AI with the governments of Korea and Japan, while Europe has also launched a digital partnership with Singapore.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Edited by Barbara Lewis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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