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Free flow of data in the EU from 2019

EU bans data localization restrictions by Member States to boost cross-border technologies such as cloud services and artificial intelligence in the EU. By resolution dated November 09, 2018, the EU Council adopted the Regulation for the free flow of non-personal data. In the future, the Regulation will prohibit Member States from imposing any form of data localization requirements, i.e. legal or official requirements according to which data processing may only take place in the territory of the respective EU Member State.

For example, Section 146(2) sentence 1 German Fiscal Code currently stipulates that tax-relevant records must be retained in Germany. To date, storage on servers abroad requires consent of the competent tax authority.

These and all further data localization requirements will be banned by the Regulation. This should facilitate data activities within the EU and strengthen the European data economy.

The Regulation will enter into force six months after the upcoming signing by the EU Parliament and subsequent promulgation, thus likely in the spring of 2019.

Practical tip:

The free flow of data that will be created in this manner only relates to non-personal data. The requirements of the GDPR must continue to be observed for personal data.


Daniel Meßmer

Dr. Daniel Meßmer


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