back to article EU proposes law forcing manufacturers to share data

In proposals aimed at IoT and machine data, the European Commission has put forward the Data Act, which promises to force manufacturers to share streams of after-sale data with third-party tech firms. margrethe vestager EU Commission executive vice president Margrethe Vestager In a move set to shake up the market for …

  1. codejunky Silver badge

    Ha

    "In light of the pandemic, public-sector bodies will be given access to data held by the private sector in exceptional circumstances"

    And only exceptional circumstances such as a day ending in 'y' and justified by whatever flimsy excuse can be made.

  2. grizewald

    The BSA misses the point (not unexpectedly)

    If I buy a product then the data generated by the product which is sent to the manufacturer, is about ME. Therefore, the data is MINE, not the manufacturer's and I have every right to know what is collected and control how it is used.

    While I can see the positive sides of the proposed law for consumers, I am less enamoured with the statement:

    'In light of the pandemic, public-sector bodies will be given access to data held by the private sector in exceptional circumstances, "particularly in case of a public emergency, such as floods and wildfires, or to implement a legal mandate if data are not otherwise available," the commission said.'

    That sounds like a convenient back door to further increase the type of surveillance so beloved by many European countries without falling foul of the EU court's rulings against treating everyone as if they are criminal suspects.

    1. M.V. Lipvig Bronze badge

      Re: The BSA misses the point (not unexpectedly)

      Well, yes. Allowing you some sort of control is just to get you onboard. But, however it turns out it'll be better for you than for me as a USAian - where everybody except me has the right to control my data.

  3. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Some hope!

    'Vestager said the Act aimed "to remove commercial technical contractual obstacles that still prevent customers from switching between cloud services."'

    A great aim, but the practicalities may prove hard to achieve. I've found cloud migration one of the most difficult data management tasks to perform, not least because document presentation frequently breaks, challenging legal integrity.

  4. Down not across Silver badge

    Compete effectively

    We need to find a way of working with the Americans that is in accordance with this in order not to get a negative Schrems III judgment. It is a priority for us in order to enable the business community to make the most of data under safe and transparent conditions."

    How about just not effing send it to US.

    "Mandating organizations in the EU to share the data they own — or, equally, restricting them from sharing or transferring data to third countries — will not only prevent EU businesses from reaping the full benefits of the digital transition but will render them less able to innovate and compete effectively in global markets."

    My heart bleeds. Re-evaluate the business then. Accept that your customers are not the product.

    Also how about mandating publication of protocols used for any "cloud enabled" (in many cases which there is no choice) tat so that once the vendor is dead or abandoned the product it will at least be possible to recreate the backend (or build one to avoid the vendor one in the first place...).

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Compete effectively

      @Down not across

      "How about just not effing send it to US."

      Thats one way to make the European product more expensive or non-existent.

      "My heart bleeds. Re-evaluate the business then. Accept that your customers are not the product."

      But they are. If you want to get something untracked then go spend the cash for an offline product etc (like most products are). If you want an IOT cloud serviced dowaffer then chances are its an ongoing beta and you are the tester, or that the price is so low because you pay in cash but also in data. And it isnt inherently wrong.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Compete effectively

        But the point is NO. I DO NOT want an IOT cloud serviced car or TV or clothes washer.

        The problem is you *can't* buy one without. Try buying a TV that isn't "smart" in some way or another and wants an internet connection. Or buying a Ford/GM product without OnStar or whatever the fuck they call it.

        So yes, it's inherently wrong.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Compete effectively

          @Gene Cash

          "But the point is NO. I DO NOT want an IOT cloud serviced car or TV or clothes washer."

          Great! Fantastic! Me either! And that has absolutely nothing to do with anything! If you dont want it dont buy it.

          "The problem is you *can't* buy one without"

          Really? Maybe I am lucky or of greater skill but none of mine are IOT.

          "Try buying a TV that isn't "smart" in some way or another and wants an internet connection"

          I have 3 here. I dont want a smart one.

          "Or buying a Ford/GM product without OnStar or whatever the fuck they call it."

          Is this a US issue maybe? I am in the UK.

        2. Justthefacts Silver badge

          Re: Compete effectively

          Why is that a problem, or more exactly, for whom is it a problem? If companies don’t want to make a product that fits your wishes…they don’t have to. So don’t watch TV.

          In other news, I personally would prefer that small cars were still being made like they used to be, without all the messing around and add-ons. With modern manufacturing efficiency, I bet you could make a bare bones sixties Mini Cooper new for a couple of grand. I’d buy one. Unfortunately car companies have decided they’d “prefer not to”, so BMW made a balloon car instead. It’s a commercial decision.

      2. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: Compete effectively

        Thats one way to make the European product more expensive or non-existent.

        Did I say anywhere I was not willing to pay fair price for a product where my data was not snaffled up?

        If the product can't exist without data being shipped to US then it probably shouoldn't exist either.

        But they are. If you want to get something untracked then go spend the cash for an offline product etc (like most products are).

        Where did I say I wasn't willing to do that? Bear in mind that some products insist on some "cloudiness" (say Logitech's Harmony remotes... no, i wasn't willing to support that model and voted with my wallet to stay away from them).

        Some SOHO routers/gateways seem to also exhibit similar tendencies (Linksys for example) and again thankfully there are better products without that and I have been and am happy to pay fairly for a decent product.

        (and no I didn't downvote you, as I am happy to engage in discussion/debate and stand by my views while accepting others view things differently)

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Compete effectively

          @Down not across

          "Did I say anywhere I was not willing to pay fair price for a product where my data was not snaffled up?"

          Did I say you wouldnt pay more for such a feature? And you are of course welcome to do so anyway. As a result this should not be an issue for you. What you do say is dont send data to the US which sounds like a blanket ban that would affect other people not just you and your preferences.

          "no, i wasn't willing to support that model and voted with my wallet to stay away from them"

          Good. I wouldnt either. I like offline tech unless I want something specifically for online use. And we can do so easy enough. I also dont believe my way is the only way and people should be free to choose.

          "(and no I didn't downvote you, as I am happy to engage in discussion/debate and stand by my views while accepting others view things differently)"

          Dont worry about it. I dont really worry about the XFactor approach, discussion is worth much more.

          1. Down not across Silver badge

            Re: Compete effectively

            Did I say you wouldnt pay more for such a feature? And you are of course welcome to do so anyway. As a result this should not be an issue for you. What you do say is dont send data to the US which sounds like a blanket ban that would affect other people not just you and your preferences.

            You make a fair point there. My preferences should not impact/limit others' as I would expect nothing less in return. What I would like is a meaningful choice (not just whether to purchase a product or not) of where my data (yes yes, there is a whole another argument of whose data is it) goes.

    2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

      Re: Compete effectively

      Doesn't matter. CLOUD act in the US means that even if you use a European availability zone, the US parent company must turn over the data if requested by US law enforcement.

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the EU was still negotiating with US officials on a solution"

    Sorry, what is there to negociate ?

    The US does not get EU citizen's data. Simple.

    I can agree to an exception when an EU citizen is physically going to the US, but that is it.

    And if the White House don't like it, it can stuff it where the sun don't shine.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: "the EU was still negotiating with US officials on a solution"

      @Pascal Monett

      "And if the White House don't like it, it can stuff it where the sun don't shine."

      That works until the realisation that cutting the EU off from the outside world hurts the EU, its them who dont like it. The EU looks with envy at the US global giants and wish the EU had an alternative... except within a highly restrictive framework that stops such from being developed.

      The EU could wall itself off from the world and even go full iron curtain if they like. And we know how it goes from past experience and current hermit kingdoms.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      it's 2022

      And people still misunderstand the scope of the GDPR…

      > The US does not get EU citizen's data.

      …in which the word "citizen" does not appear even once. The scope concerns "persons in the. Union".

      1. Justthefacts Silver badge

        Re: it's 2022

        Yeah, it does. And that simply directly conflicts with the Constitution of the USA, which states that it’s citizens remain under its jurisdiction wherever they are in the world. Both as regards their data privacy, and for example tax.

        You can disapprove if you like, but it is just the way their system works, as yours is the way yours works.

        In any negotiation, either side can just walk away, and in this case the EU will just have to accept that violating the US Constitution is a redline for the US. The EU either compromises on this edge case for GDPR,or accepts that it can no longer import US tech goods at all. Thats the Safe Harbour nego that needs to complete in the next few weeks. It’s a choice.

        1. Julz Silver badge

          Re: it's 2022

          Inside the USA judicial areas, US laws can be applied. Outside of USA judicial areas, they can not. This seems to be something that various governments of the USA have had difficulty in understanding or at least pretend that they do.

          1. Justthefacts Silver badge

            Re: it's 2022

            No, that’s the system of international law *you* want. The US has a different view. They understand perfectly your point of view, they just don’t share it. The problem with international law is that isn’t real, it bends to the reality of power balance.

            When Iran annoyed the US over, frankly, not very much other than not just kneeling at the altar, the EU blacklisted all their banks and cut them off from the SWIFT system. When Russia invades Ukraine…all the EU have to say is “Putin’s a very naughty boy”. And I think they’re right, by the way. The EU have zero power in that relationship, and would simply get a lot more people killed if they tried.

  6. heyrick Silver badge

    may take away certain privileged positions of some companies

    Yup, the privilege of all that juicy data, that would be stopped dead in its tracks if the consumer had any idea of what and how much was actually being gathered...

  7. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Flame

    It won't change until we stop buying...

    I recently helped my elderly neighbor set up her new HP printer. Should be pretty simple, USB cable, maybe a driver, and it starts printing. Nope. The damn thing needed to be on the WiFi, an account needed to be created, and a long EULA agreed to. Only then would the USB port be available.

    Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot does a printer need to be on the Internet for?

    Of course, it is to track ink usage and be able market to the customer after the sale. And make a hand grab at a credit card to automatically ship overpriced official OEM ink for "convenience". I explained the privacy implications to my neighbor, but they were not heard over the loud rebuttal.... "But it was such a great price!!

    This garbage won't stop until we decide to not allow it.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: It won't change until we stop buying...

      "But it was such a great price!!"

      That will change when the bill for the next microgram of ink arrives.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It won't change until we stop buying...

      I had the same problem when I needed a cheap printer. It's a nuisance, but at least you can disable the WiFi after setup, and you don't have to sign up to the ink service.

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