The European Union’s Commissioner for the internal market, Thierry Breton, said that, in order to not fall behind on its rivals, Europe needs to help its companies with their production and management of industrial data.

Breton explained in an interview that the US tech sector is far ahead in the personal data revolution, and added that he is planning to help EU companies to capitalise more on their electronic data.

“I will make sure we will not miss the new wave of industrial data. The most important thing is to evaluate how we create data, who will create the huge data lake, some say data tsunami, and how we will be able to use this data”, Breton said, stressing that he does not blame anyone, but reiterating that the digital sector will have to change.

Breton also says that most of the potential for Europe to gain ownership of its industrial data was in the hands of a few companies.

“At the end of the mandate of the commission in 2024 the planet will have 175 zettabytes of data. My goal is to prepare ourselves so the data will be used for Europeans, by Europeans and with our values”, he said.

Apart from the complex rules for sharing commercial data between countries and companies, the Union also lacks common standards and sufficient technology to exploit the information. Some EU states’ health records are still not digitalised.