Let the data be free!

30. January 2020

By Manuel Lobato. Patents Lawyer.

Regulation for the Free Flow of non-personal data

On May 28th, 2019, the Regulation for the Free Flow of non-personal data in the European Union- (EU) 2018 / 1807- entered into force in the territory of the European Community, accompanied by a Guide dedicated to the same theme.

The main objective of said regulation is to grant a regulatory framework to the free movement of data and its processing, as well as to complement the Regulation on the Protection of personal data. Its ultimate purpose is to break down the barriers imposed by the UE States to the treatment and storage thereof and tend to the development of the data economy in and between the countries of the Union.

The regulation in comment deals with the figures related to big data, the implementation of self-regulation codes of companies and entities of all kinds in terms of data, the use of data under the principles of responsibility, seriousness, effectiveness, accessibility, and solidarity among the agents involved in the process, the free mobility of non-personal information, eliminating territorial and/or legal and/or contractual obstacles.

Acces to the data

The access to the data and its free flow in these documents is presented with a hint of fundamental Human Law, allowing endless activities, ranging from the request for information to know in what part of a given territory the price of gasoline is cheaper – consumer rights – until the free exchange of scientific data between public entities, universities, and individuals.

Free flow of information

However, it is noteworthy that the so-called free flow of information has its limits, which are mainly in matters related to public safety, public order and national defense or when a fundamental right is currently or imminently injured.

Mixed data

Likewise, and focusing on the relationship between the Free Flow Regulation and the Protection of Personal Data, it should be noted that these interact between each other when the “mixed data” is treated. Mixed data are those that are made up of personal and non-personal information. In the event that there is a set of mixed data that are undeniably linked, the Free Flow Regulation will prevail over that of Protection, as prescribed by art. 2.2 of the indicated document.

Finally, and as regards the scope of application of the aforementioned instrument, it is of a cross-border nature, and its provisions must be accepted and appropriate to the standards prescribed by it, even when the data processing service provider of countries from the Union, is established there or not. -art. 2, ap. 1 a) –


Sources: ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_17_3190, ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_19_2749


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