BUILDING TRUST IN EUROPEAN DATA ECOSYSTEMS

29 / 01 / 2024

With the emergence of new data-driven services, companies start considering their data as a strategic active. Data is recognized by companies not only as an indoor resource that can be leveraged to improve internal processes making them more efficient but also as a new opportunity to create services around their business niche. This new paradigm has given rise to the need to cross-company data exchanges or data sharing. However, uncontrolled data sharing and lack of data sovereignty can lead to important risks. Once access to data has been granted, there is a risk that the recipient may arbitrarily alter, copy, or disseminate the data without the owner’s consent. This loss of control can undermine the owner’s ability to manage and protect their data assets effectively.

To alleviate these concerns, EUHubs4Data proposes a set of mechanisms that, when implemented by digital innovation hubs and i-Spaces, enhance the confidence within the Federation and SMEs and boost Europe’s digital aspirations.

However, tackling data control loss over the data shared between organizations is a multidimensional view that cannot be addressed from a unique perspective. For this reason, EUHubs4Data has established a set of technical measures and legal/organizational measures to this endeavor.

From a technological point of view, EUHubs4Data implements digital sovereignty mechanisms that are strongly aligned with IDSA framework and have been adopted as the basis of data sharing in Europe. IDSA unifies the efforts of more than 130 organizations aiming to boost the digital economy in Europe. IDS Connectors and other enabling technologies such as IDS Clearing House are cornerstone to interoperate with other European Data Spaces. EUHubs4Data technical recommendation roots in IDS specification providing a technical framework to define machine readable contract negotiation and usage contracts over IDS data resources.

However, creating trust from just a technological perspective still requires some advances. Before technical enforcement guarantees a fully automated sovereign data exchange, textual legal contracts remain an important instrument in dealing with the enforcement of usage control. EUHubs4Data provides a set of potential legal and organizational measures that support the technical measures. First, the different i-Spaces were assessed about compliance of the ISO 27001:2013 standard to guarantee strong security measures when dealing with other’s data. Secondly, several workshops instructing how to create textual contracts for data exchange between data providers and end-users have been organized in the scope of EUHubs4Data.

In conclusion, building trust in European data ecosystems is of paramount importance to advance in the shaping of Europe’s digital landscape and promoting cross-border data-driven services. Euhubs4Data and associated SMEs must work together to promote secure and sovereign data exchange and use.

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