June 7, 2023

Let’s talk about IDSA’s task force legal

Despite the complexity of legislation and regulatory aspects concerning data spaces, they play a crucial role in ensuring innovation while safeguarding privacy and security. IDSA’s legal advisor and moderator of the task force legal, Dr. Söntje Julia Hilberg, explains what it does.

Legal topics are increasingly important in the context of data spaces. The new EU regulation is becoming an essential part of building and maintaining data spaces. “Even though IDSA’s focus is on technology and governance, not on solving legal issues for data spaces, regulation is on everyone’s mind,” Dr. Hilberg explains, and must be discussed and aligned with other initiatives. “The alignment is very important, as most legislation by its very nature needs to be translated into practical approaches and solutions,” and a common understanding of legal terms is necessary to create a trustworthy data sharing landscape – in the EU and beyond.

For this reason, IDSA has re-established its task force legal to discuss regulatory developments and specific legal topics, and to organize the collaboration and contribution of IDSA members. It will strengthen IDSA’s internal and external positioning on legal issues.

What are the responsibilities of the task force?

There are two areas in which the task force legal will be active:

Public Voice. The TF works and communicates externally to give impulses or input to the outside world. For example, when the European Commission proposes regulations, IDSA discusses them as a stakeholder in this group. This is important to incorporate our experience, expertise, and assessment into the development of the regulation and to help the Commission create a regulation that works in real-life cases. Additionally, IDSA can proactively give impulses on legal issues to the outside world that are considered significant and develop a position on them.

Tasks and solutions. The internal workstream of the TF serves as support for the working groups and for projects. General regulatory questions such as: What do contracts look like in data spaces? There are requests from IDSA working groups, as happened recently when the task force contributed a chapter to the new version of the IDSA Rulebook. Or questions come from projects: How can I deal with the contractual issues? In the tasks and solutions section, we try to find answers and provide input on concrete questions within our community. However, it is important to note that while the task force aims to provide guidance and input, it cannot provide legal consultation, and any information provided should not be considered legal advice.

What are the structure and the tools of the task force?

The task force legal formed a structure of small units. “A survey was made to find out what is most important. Everyone could indicate their fields of interest,” Dr. Hilberg says. Based on that, a map of the legal issues is created, and the subgroups for those topics begin to meet. “There might be only 6 to 8 people in each group at the beginning, with an elected chair in each. But we assume a more effective outcome by breaking down the complexity of topics into focused subgroups.”

The entire task force legal meets every quarter. These meetings consist of two blocks, which are on the agenda each time:

First, a topic impulse, in which one of the members reports on a topic of interest. Dr. Hilberg remarks: “For example, we recently had a member talking about the topic of data sharing with China.” Seeing that China has a completely different regulatory framework when it comes to data. How can you deal with that? What are the possible risks? “This is a current topic, which is not only relevant for IDSA. Forming an opinion on this topic is for sure relevant.”

After the topic impulse, the second block consists of a report from each subgroup, discussing their activities. Which issues are you concerned with? Dr. Hilberg emphasizes, “We want to be very specific and concrete.” Subgroups can be on ethics, legal interoperability, and data agreements, among other topics. There is an overlap with all IDSA working groups. Legal issues, for example, can impact the architecture of data spaces. In addition to the subgroups and meetings, workshops are held every three months – open to all.

Join IDSA activities to drive change in sovereign data sharing! Complete the form and actively participate in our influential working groups: https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=NNZGs_usx0K9RPFVfuibG0ldMjBd4LtNkWo8mSRVEJhUNFIwRjNLN1lRMkg2VlBMUjAyMDEzTktXQy4u

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