Europe offensive versus technology giants and sets the stage to create its single data market: what is and what will the New Data Governance Regulation be for: Reuse data held by public bodies, encourage the emergence of intermediaries during the processing of the same, oblige companies that process data of European citizens to have legal representatives in any member state of the Union...

Europe takes a step forward in its offensive against the big tech companies in the United States by presenting its proposal for a Data Governance Regulation. The Data Governance Act announced by the European Commission this Wednesday is the materialization of one of the first purposes of the data strategy that the supranational body announced in February of this same year.

The European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, had already warned a few weeks ago that Europe had come late to the first "wave" of data, the wave of personal data. The continent cannot afford to miss the second wave of industrial data. But while this is coming, the Commission has already put this initiative on the table.

"The regulation will lay the foundation for a European form of data governance in line with the values and principles of the European Union," the Commission detailed in a press release this week, "as the Data Protection Regulation, GDPR, already does."

For example, the proposed regulation proposes the creation of data intermediaries, with strict standards that increase citizens ' confidence in the transfer of their data and that guarantee a model "based on neutrality and transparency". "The data processing practices of large technology platforms allow them to acquire great market power due to their business models," he counters.

Europe offensive versus technology giants

The Digital Services Regulation on which the Commission is also working and which is expected to come into being before the end of the year also made it mandatory for large platforms to share their users ' data with competitors, as well as measures to ensure transparency about their treatment.

The aim of the Data Governance Regulation is to encourage the exchange of data. The Commission States in a fact sheet that you can consult here that reusing the data could have an economic and social benefit of between 1% and 2.5% of European GDP. In addition, the EU predicts that between 2018 and 2025 the data generated in the Old Continent will quintuple.

Breton himself has defended this week that with this new standard is defining today "a truly European approach in relation to the exchange of data". "The new regulation will ensure confidence and facilitate the flow of data between sectors and member states." "Europe needs a single, open data market, and at the same time, a sovereign one."

Also the vice-president of the Commission for a Europe adapted to the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, recalled that "there is no need to share all data", but if it is to do so, "and more so if they are sensitive", it must "be done reliably and with protected data". "We want to give businesses and citizens the tools to keep control of data."

Some keys to this new regulation proposal:

Europe offensive versus technology giants

In the B2B area, the Commission is aware that many companies fear that "the sharing of their data will lead to a loss of competitive advantage and a risk of misuse". That is why the proposed new regulation puts the focus on data intermediaries, data exchange providers, who will be in charge of organizing data in a "neutral" way to increase trust.

Intermediaries will not be able to exchange such data for their own benefit —for example, through sales to third parties-and must comply with a number of very strict standards. Intermediaries will have to notify the administrations of their nature, so the Commission will keep another record with such companies.

The proposal for a regulation provides for the creation of a European Data Innovation Council to facilitate the exchange of best practices by member state authorities, in particular on data altruism, data intermediaries and the use of public data that cannot be made available as open data. It will also advise the Commission on priorities relating to interoperability standards between sectors.

The regulation calls for the creation of a new European Data Innovation Council to facilitate the exchange of good practice by member states on these issues. The Commission wants the new data market to be stable and predictable but to ensure the free movement of data globally, always protecting the privacy of personal data.

For this, the "European data spaces" will also appear that will allow the exchange of data from both the public and private sectors "reliably and at a lower cost", assure the proponents of the EC. "[These spaces] are composed of both secure technological infrastructure and governance mechanisms."

These spaces will initially be created by virtue of large thematic containers, such as health, environment, energy, agriculture, mobility, finance, manufacturing, Public Administration and skills.

The European Commission understands that data can benefit society because the knowledge derived from it makes it possible to develop "evidence-based"policy decisions. "They can be used to respond in emergencies, to make cities greener, and to help people live longer and healthier lives."

The problem is that it is the "lack of tools" that makes it difficult to exchange data for the benefit of society, according to the Commission after an online consultation. "The aim [of the new regulation] is to create the right conditions for people and businesses to trust that when they share their data, it will be handled by trusted organisations."

These trusted organizations will be named an altruistic data organization and will have to register in a public registry that will create the new regulations. To be part of this register, these organizations will have to be non-profit and comply with strict transparency standards.

Europe offensive versus technology giants

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Amazon will spend 400 million euros on giving extra pay to its front-line employees at the end of the year

Amazon will pay about 400 million euros (500 million dollars) to its front-line workers, the company announced in a statement on its official website.

The money will be distributed between the 250 million euros that the company will allocate to full-time workers and the 125 million euros that it will distribute to those who work for Amazon part-time. According to the e-commerce giant, during this year it has allocated more than 2.000 million euros to extra pay to front-line workers, since in May it paid them more than 400 million euros.

The coronavirus has caused a great increase in spending on e-commerce and Amazon has generated important profits this year, exceeding the 82.000 million euros of turnover only in the third quarter, in which it tripled its profit to 6.300 million dollars. The e-commerce company's warehouses remained open, putting its employees at risk of infection.

In October, Amazon reported that 1.44% of its front-line employees had contracted COVID-19 during the year. 19,816 workers at Amazon and Whole Foods, the food chain it owns, tested positive for COVID-19 within its 1.3 million workers, according to the company

Other companies that have benefited from the e-commerce explosion in the United States have offered similar bonuses to their employees. For example, Home Depot has budgeted more than 800 million euros to pay its workers weekly bonuses and more paid vacations, and recently announced that those changes would be permanent.

Walmart will also spend more than 800 million euros in bonuses this year, which add to a program of more than 350 million euros that it distributed in August. Its employees in the United States will receive between 250 and 125 euros depending on the hours they work, the same as Amazon has promised.

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