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European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association



ETNOs Views on the Proposed Regulation on a Framework for the Free Flow of Non-Personal Data in the European Union

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November 2017

ETNOs Views on the Proposed Regulation on a Framework for the Free Flow of Non-Personal Data in the European Union

The European Commission proposed on 13 September 2017 a draft regulation with the aim of facilitating the cross-border provision of data storage and processing services such as cloud computing, big data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) within the European Union. The Commission considers this policy initiative a central pillar of its Digital Single Market Strategy.

As a matter of fact, companies need efficient mechanisms to transfer both personal and non-personal data across borders, in order to respond to customers’ needs in a data-driven economy. Data location restrictions for non-personal data should only be allowed if they are supported by objective, proportionate and justified reasons of public security. In addition, the protection of the fundamental rights of the individual must be guaranteed in the context of promoting free data flows outside the European Union.

Key Messages

  • ETNO welcomes the Commission’s goal of speeding up the removal of national barriers to the circulation of non-personal data within the EU borders.
  • ETNO welcomes the proposal’s general consistency with other relevant legislation in this field, but cautions against possible conflicts with the scope of application of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • ETNO asks for an improved wording of the obligation regarding data availability for competent authorities (Article 5). In particular, it should be made clear that cloud service providers should not be directly addressed by competent authorities from all the EU Member States.
  • In regard to the porting of data (Article 6), ETNO considers that the Commission has not provided the required evidence to sufficiently demonstrate a market failure due to lock-in effects affecting non-personal data in the business-to-business (B2B) market. The promotion of self-regulatory measures should be developed without imposing additional burdens in the European market and taking into account that the provision of portability represents for some undertakings a differentiator in competitive markets.

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Members & Observers - View companies map

  • Albtelecom
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  • Eir
  • Elisa Communications Corporation
  • GO Plc (Malta)
  • Hrvatski Telekom
  • Koninklijke KPN
  • Magyar Telekom
  • Makedonski Telekom
  • Orange
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  • Portugal Telecom
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  • Telia Company
  • Turk Telekom
  • Vivacom
  • Deutsche Telekom AG
  • CYTA (Cyprus Telecommunications Authority)
  • BT
  • BH Telecom
  • POST Group

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