In a society where individuals will generate ever-increasing amounts of data, the way in which the data are collected and used must place the interests of the individual first, in accordance with European values, fundamental rights and rules. Citizens will trust and embrace data-driven innovations only if they are confident that any personal data sharing in the EU will be subject to full compliance with the EU's strict data protection rules. At the same time, the increasing volume of non-personal industrial data and public data in Europe, combined with technological change in how the data is stored and processed, will constitute a potential source of growth and innovation that should be tapped.
This Communication outlines a strategy for policy measures and investments to enable the data economy for the coming five years. This data strategy is presented at the same time as the Commission's Communication on "Shaping Europe's Digital Future" and a White Paper on artificial intelligence that indicates how the Commission will support and promote the development and uptake of artificial intelligence across the EU.
On the basis of this strategy, the Commission launches a comprehensive consultation on the specific measures that could be taken to keep the EU at the forefront of the data-agile economy, while respecting and promoting the fundamental values that are the foundation of European societies.