The Rise of European Data

A Kantian Imperative for Global Data Governance

Author(s): Francesco Vogelezang

Published on: October 31, 2022

This paper by Francesco Vogelezang is as an outcome of his Fellowship at the Datasphere Initiative 2021/2022. The essay assesses the impact on global data flows of the cross-border provisions introduced by the Data Governance Act (DGA) and the Data Act (DA).

It emerges that the rules introduced by the DGA and DA underpin a renewed geopolitical ambition of the European Commission in global data governance discussions. Not only that, the two measures foster the emergence of a new geographic conceptualization of data – i.e. “European data” – that transcends individual approaches to data regulation where data can be seen as a “strategic national asset” to consolidate economic and political objectives (Solano et al., 2022, p. 18).

Based on this concept, this paper assesses whether a geographical approach to data governance can contribute to the emergence of transnational open standards or whether it can further exacerbate ongoing fragmentation of global data flows.

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