Europe is willing to take on the fight over Big Data to demonopolize ownership and bring the data-powered economy back to the data owners.
Big Data is expected to reach 175 zettabytes by 2025. All that is owned by a handful of the so-called Big Tech companies, like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, or Microsoft.
They collect data from data producers that do business using the platforms owned by the Big Tech companies, and none of these companies are European.
What does the new regulation demand?
The EU drafted a proposal as part of the Digital Services Act to dismantle such inequality. The Silicon Valley giants would be stripped of the right to use the data produced by Europeans unless the data is accessible to all business users in the same commercial activities.
“Tech companies must keep a close eye on these attempts by the Europeans.
As of now, free sharing of information was impossible to implement, but, if the EU succeeds, it might add another good spin to the global tech economy, especially the one that relies on data, like Artificial Intelligence,” says Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN.
Europeans have succeeded in driving the digital transformation before. They have set the golden standard for data protection under GDPR, which inspired other countries to follow suit — just recently Brazil adopted LGPD, and California has its own Consumer Pricact Act (CCPA).
Other initiatives that have fostered the development of the data economy are the regulation on the free flow of non-personal data, the Cybersecurity Act (CSA), and the Directive on Open Data.
“The European stance will give a positive push to more than economic integrity alone. It will also have a positive impact on the freedom of the internet in general.
The circulation of freely shared information will make it less possible for censorship to flourish,” adds the digital privacy expert.
“On the downside, privacy of end users will fall under a higher risk. These changes might increase the demand for privacy tools. Consumers will start equipping themselves with enterprise-grade VPN and communication tools to keep their private lives safe.”
Unsurprisingly, Google took steps to outpace the EU by introducing their own VPN solution that would make users invisible.
The European Union is not the only one attempting to break the monopoly of Big Tech. Other countries are trying to do the same. The only difference is that behind these efforts are attempts to control its citizens and support a regime.
China bans access to platforms like Google, Facebook, and Amazon to censor the content available to its citizens. Turkey also went down the same road.
On October 1, the law that requires Big Tech to comply with the government’s demands for content censorship went into effect.