FAZ Sees “EU facing the data battle” – DIH Plays a Central Role as Data Trustee

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Eu Commissioner Thierry Breton

The New Proposal of Legislation

The FAZ has received a new draft law for the sovereign handling and exchange of industrial data within the EU (“Data Governance Act”, link to FAZ article).  The motivation behind the new edition is based on the endeavor to enforce valid European laws within data security and on the other hand it is based on the long-term goal to create an independent and innovation-promoting European dataspace. The draft shows a clear rise in importance for neutral data trustees, who according to the Data Governance Act will take on one of the core roles within a secure European dataspace: “The emergence of neutral data negotiators could be the basis for a European model for data exchange […]”. The neutral data trustees as intermediaries between companies that produce the data and those that want to use it, thus represent a European alternative to the well-known big-tech platforms such as Amazon or Google. According to the draft, data trustees are therefore only those providers who meet strict requirements, such as representation within the EU. This ensures that the data and its processes are handled within the European legal area and enables the necessary intervention of European or national authorities. Furthermore, the Data Governance Act takes up one of the guiding principles of data sovereignty:  No provider acting as a neutral data trustee should be allowed to derive its own commercial benefit from its customers’ data: “The provider may use the data exclusively to make it available to its users,” the text states.

Significance for the DIH

The Europe-based Data Intelligence Hub (DIH) of Deutsche Telekom AG is a pioneer and well-positioned as a data trustee for the new data economy. With its technical architecture, the DIH is already based on the strict requirements of the International Dataspaces Association (IDSA) and the International Dataspaces (IDS) standard, which in turn form a basis for the new, pan-European data infrastructure GAIA-X (“IDS is DIN SPEC 27070”). With Telekom DIH, a first GAIA-X compatible offer for the development of data-driven business concepts is already available, which enables implementations of European data sovereignty. The first pioneers are already on the way and trust Telekom DIH as a data trustee for the development of their new data businesses:

  • Production: For the German Engineering Federation (VDMA/VDW), DIH is involved in the implementation of a new communication standard for industrial machines, the so-called Universal Machine Technology Interface (OPC/UA-UMATI)
  • Logistics: The DIH is also active in the field of logistics: In the EU project FENIX, the DIH is the data trustee and data hub in European logistics corridors for data exchange between all participants.
  • Mobility: The National Platform Future of Mobility (NPM) is counting on the IDS standard to solve data interoperability problems and is testing a first data sovereignty solution in RealLabHH with Telekom DIH. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) (“Starting shot for the Reallabor Digital Mobility Hamburg – with Federal Minister Scheuer”) and is developing a demonstrator of a GAIA-X-compatible Mobility Dataspace under the patronage and with the participation of the Hamburger Hochbahn (“Mobility with IDS“). Using the example of the use case of an intermodal trip (see “Berlin Digital Twin,” for example), it is shown how various mobility platforms, some of competing providers, can be linked into a holistic, seamless offer using an IDS-based data connection layer.

These practical examples show in concrete terms how regulation and business can work hand in hand to advance strategic innovation topics quickly and sustainably. The protection of data sovereignty is an important value of the member states of the European Union and requires the attention and responsible action of all participants in a European dataspace. The new regulation also rewards the DIH’s early investments and key objectives and strengthens its role as a neutral, trustworthy, and important pioneer within a European dataspace.

Chris S. Langdon
Chris S. Langdon

Business Lead, Data Analytics Executive, Catena-X Product Manager

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