The fact that people and organisations across Europe are increasingly looking for ways to gain control over their data is a clear sign that awareness of data sovereignty is growing. However, many don’t know how to put control over data into practice. This is the key finding from the Data Sovereignty Monitor report, which has just been published as part of the Data Sovereignty Now campaign. 

The European Union (EU) is on a mission to achieve data sovereignty, as illustrated by the release of the European Digital Strategy last year. To find out whether people and organisations share the EU policymakers’ data concerns, Data Sovereignty Now conducted a survey in over more than 10 countries from June to August 2021. 

The monitor examined a number of practical issues concerning data sovereignty within organisations, operations and daily life. The results of the monitor have now been published in the first edition of the Data Sovereignty Monitor. The most interesting observations have been analysed in the context of the three pillars of Data Sovereignty Now: central design principle, soft infrastructure and end user adoption.

On a positive note, the findings reveal not only that awareness of data sovereignty is growing, but also that organisations are increasingly willing to share data with users, customers and other stakeholders in a data-sovereign manner. However, people and organisations still find it difficult to put data sovereignty into practice and they are often oblivious to the commercial benefits of control over date. Moreover, many organisations do not feel prepared for the upcoming legislative changes relating to data. The researchers conclude that – if tomorrow’s digital world is to be a more sustainable one – governments, industry associations and consultancy firms still have their work cut out to make the topic of data sovereignty more tangible and comprehensible for organisations and people across Europe.

To read the blog by Pim Korstens and Arief Huhn from FreedomLab (part of the Data Sovereignty Now coalition and developer/executor of the Data Sovereignty Monitor), click here

To read the Data Sovereignty Monitor report in full, click here

About Data Sovereignty Now

Data Sovereignty Now is a coalition of leading Europe-based technology companies, research institutions and non-profits that are lobbying European policymakers at all levels to ensure that control over data remains in the hands of the people and organisations that generate it. 

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