Europe has developed a strategy for data which focuses on putting people first in developing technology, and defending and promoting European values and rights in the digital world.
Data is described by the EC as an essential resource for economic growth, competitiveness, innovation, job creation and societal progress. According to the European Commission, “the European strategy for data aims at creating a single market for data that will ensure Europe’s global competitiveness and data sovereignty. Common European data spaces will ensure that more data becomes available for use in the economy and society, while keeping the companies and individuals who generate the data in control.”
Data driven applications are fundamental to improve living conditions for citizens and help businesses thrive. They can:
- improve health care
- create safer and cleaner transport systems
- generate new products and services
- reduce the costs of public services
- improve sustainability and energy efficiency
Hence education efforts that increase digital data literacy like that undertaken by the D3 project need to be promoted as part of the EC data strategy as citizens need to be empowered to stay in control of their data, and establish common, open European data spaces.
A European strategy for data has been proposed that intends to deal with issues such as data governance, access and reuse. It will seek to make data more widely available by opening up high-value publicly held datasets across the EU and allowing their reuse for free. Of major importance but lacking however are education initiatives to support these developments.
The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) has been developed as an index that summarises relevant indicators on Europe’s digital performance and tracks the evolution of EU Member States.
It compares indicators for European countries across five main dimensions: Connectivity, Human Capital, Use of Internet, Integration of Digital Technology and Digital Public Services.
DESI data is free and available to download. Visit the DESI download area