The European Union (EU) has just approved Data Act legislation aimed at making it easier for people to transfer their data between services, including Apple’s cloud storage service, iCloud.
After intense negotiations, the EU reached an agreement that aims to curb the influence of large US technology companies and promote transparency and innovation in the European data economy.
The European Union agreement
The Data Act simplifies the process of switching to alternative data processing providers and establishes measures to protect against unauthorized data transfers by cloud service providers.
In addition, it promotes the adoption of interoperability standards to facilitate the reuse of data across different industries.
One of the important implications for companies like Apple is that they will be required to modify iCloud to simplify the process of transferring data to an alternative platform such as Google’s cloud services.
While Apple already has the app “Migrate to iOS” on Android to help transfer data to Apple devices, there is no equivalent tool to help users leave the Apple ecosystem.
The approval of the Data Act it’s just one of several EU regulatory measures impacting companies like Apple.
Other EU regulations: DMA and DSA
In 2022, the EU also signed the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA), which aims to regulate other aspects of the digital sector.
The DMA focuses on regulating so-called platforms “gatekeepers” – technology companies that have significant control over access to the digital market.
It aims to ensure fair competition by preventing anti-competitive practices such as favoring your own services or restricting interoperability with other platforms.
The DSA aims to hold technology companies accountable for the content on their platforms and combat the spread of illegal content such as hate speech and counterfeit products.
It also promotes transparency by requiring platforms to disclose their content moderation policies and the algorithms they use to recommend content to users.
In short, the approval of the Data Act represents a significant advance in data governance in the EU and impacts companies like Apple, which will need to adapt to facilitate the transfer of user data.
Now, it remains to be seen how these new rules will be implemented and what challenges and opportunities will arise for technology companies in Europe.