The International Road Transport Union (IRU) has expressed concerns over the proposed Data Act.
The Council of the European Union has adopted its general approach on the Data Act, which is at variance to the European Parliament.
The IRU had previously welcomed the text adopted by the European Parliament. But the Council’s version allows data holders to refuse users access to their own data.
As with the Parliament’s text, the IRU has welcomed the clarification regarding vehicle users and third parties’ access to vehicle-generated data, as well as the additional limits on governments’ access to such data.However, unlike the Parliament’s version, the Council’s general approach opens the door to data holders being able to refuse access to data based on the pretext of “serious damage”.More precisely, the Council entitled data holders to deny the right to access data if the data holder can demonstrate that they are highly likely to suffer serious damage from the disclosure of trade secrets, despite the technical and organisational measures taken by the user to protect trade secrets.
The Data Act, the first EU industrial data rulebook, will set harmonised rules on accessing, sharing and using data generated by connected products, such as vehicles, and related services.
IRU EU Advocacy Director Raluca Marian said, “Users, including transport operators, should not be denied access to data generated by their own vehicles due to ‘trade secrets’.“If someone were to invoke the excuse of ‘trade secrets’, it should be the vehicle users. After all, it’s their vehicles and commercial operations.”
“Such exception not only contradicts the spirit of the proposal, which is intended to finally provide users with access to the data generated by the products they’ve purchased or leased, but also leaves many questions unanswered, such as which circumstances are considered as exceptional,” she added.