Whether language assistants like Alexa or Siri, vacuum robots or networked vehicles: In the digital age, ever larger amounts of data are generated. In February 2022, the EU Commission proposed giving consumers and companies a “right to have a say” about their data.
It is planned that in future users of intelligent devices will also have access to the data generated and be able to pass it on to third parties. So far, the data has been collected almost exclusively by the manufacturers of the devices, 80 percent of which are never used, according to Brussels.
The European Parliament voted in Strasbourg with a large majority for a revised version of the Data Act. It is the basis for the subsequent negotiations with the EU states. According to its own statements, the parliament tightened the requirements for the protection of trade secrets. They are intended to prevent the copying of certain services or devices, which would theoretically be possible through data sharing. Consumers should also be made easier to switch to so-called cloud services, in which data is outsourced to a virtual "cloud".
The Federal Consumer Association (vzbv) does not yet consider the plans to be sufficient. There is a lack of "a clear distinction between contracts that companies conclude with each other and contracts that companies conclude with consumers," criticized vzbv boss Ramona Pop.
The Bitkom industry association called the specifications too vague: Terms such as data or products are "defined very broadly, so that the area of application is almost unlimited," complained Bitkom President Achim Berg.