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Free flow of data in the EU ensured

Free flow of data in the EU ensured

Press release 18.01.2019 10.44 fi sv en

Illustration (Photo: Shutterstock)

The Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a framework for the free flow of non-personal data in the European Union obliges Member States to ensure that no unfounded location restrictions will be set on data. The aim of the Regulation is to remove any obstacles to free flow of data in the European Union. This makes the use of information more efficient and improves the functioning and transparency of the internal market.

A further aim is to promote data economy and new technologies, like development of cross-border autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.

In future, restrictions on the location of data will be allowed on grounds of public security. However, the restrictions will be transparent: Each Member State must publish information on the restrictions it has set.

The Regulation does not apply to data processing relating to national security or carried out by the public sector itself.

The Regulation has no impact on the processing of personal data as provisions on that are laid down in the EU General Data Protection Regulation.

The Regulation also aims at improving the certainty of data availability. For purposes of inter-authority collaboration, a point of contact will be established in each Member State.  However, powers conferred to the authorities in terms of data requests will not be expanded by the Regulation as they are defined in the existing legislation. The Government proposes that in Finland the obligation to act as the point of contact would be assumed by the Transport and Communications Agency. The Agency's role as the point of contact would be specified in the Act on Electronic Services.

What next?

A referral debate on the government proposal submitted to Parliament will be conducted in a Parliament plenary session. Information on the date of the session will be available on the Parliament website (plenary session agendas).

The Regulation of the European Council and of the Parliament will be automatically applied in all EU Member States as soon as it has entered into force. It does not have to be separately implemented into national legislation.

The Regulation entered into force on 18 December 2018. Its application will begin six months from its entry into force, that is early summer 2019. However, Member States have two years to survey and assess the location restrictions.

A working group appointed by the Ministry of Transport and Communications on 18 December 2018 will review the existing data location restrictions. Based on its report, the need to amend the legislation and practices will be assessed later. The term of the working group will end on 30 June 2019.

 

Inquiries:
Tuomas Kaivola, Ministerial Adviser, tel. + 358 50 525 8367