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"Data Act becomes a disservice to Industry 4.0"


10 Feb 2022



Frankfurt, 10 February 2022 – The EU Commission is planning a "Data Act" which, among other things, will regulate the use and transfer of data in the EU. Hartmut Rauen, Deputy Executive Director of the VDMA, comments:

"The draft Data Act that has now become known contains approaches that encroach too far on entrepreneurial freedom. Data access and information obligations, restrictions on contractual freedom, requirements for technical design and much more: such legislative intervention can only be justified if, without these measures, there would be market distortions and unfair data blockades. This is different in the mechanical engineering sector, which is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises. Here, past practice has clearly shown that the parties involved can find a negotiation result that is fair and commercially sensible for all sides within the framework of contractual freedom. The proposed rules are therefore neither necessary nor purposeful for our industry. We fear that the regulatory approaches will interfere too much with well-functioning data relationships between industrial partners and cause uncertainty and burdens for innovative mechanical engineering companies. For Industry 4.0, the Data Act could thus prove to be a disservice."

A photo of Hartmut Rauen, Deputy Executive Director of VDMA, can be found here.

The VDMA represents more than 3,400 German and European companies of the mechanical engineering industry. The industry stands for innovation, export orientation and medium-sized businesses. The companies employ around four million people in Europe, more than one million of them in Germany. Mechanical and plant engineering represents a European turnover volume of around 800 billion euros. With a net value added of around 270 billion euros, it contributes the highest share of the entire manufacturing sector to the European gross domestic product.