The data economy – exchange of views with Europe’s enforcers and policymakers

In January 2018, as part of an on-going GSMA project to assess the dynamics of the newly emerging data economy, the GSMA held a series of meetings with Europe’s leading competition officials, policy makers and legislators to examine data’s underlying market characteristics and assess the likely impact on public policy. An interesting picture is emerging – one that will have implications for both policy and the data economy in the years to come.

There is a lot of attention on innovation, and the ingredients and assets (i.e. the capabilities) that underpin innovation. From a mobile perspective, what is key the ability to make the best use of available data – however, sector specific rules and other restrictions on cross border trade specific to data and data related services, could hamper both current and innovative future use.

With a consensus view that innovation has brought huge benefits, many of those we have met with think that changes to the EU regulatory framework for the digital economy provides a sufficient legal framework to tackle emerging problems. However, some have also observed that the existing consent model for personal data does not work for consumers and needs to be improved – starting with greater transparency over final use.
What discussions highlighted is that, while we might not need regulatory intervention in the near term, questions remain over access, portability, and transparency – and solving these issues could help deliver the data led economic revolution.