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What is the Support Centre for Data Sharing?

The Support Centre for Data Sharing (SCDS) initiative focuses specifically on researching, documenting, and reporting about the data sharing practices, EU legal frameworks, and access and distribution technology that are relevant to organisations, and that imply novel models, and legal or technological challenges. We will do that in the awareness of the entirety of the data sharing space, but without developing its full spectrum.

  • By the term “data sharing” we refer to the collection of practices, technology, cultural elements and legal frameworks that are relevant to transactions in any kind of information digitally. The terms will be often used interchangeably, however we at SCDS prefer “data sharing” to “shared data”. The reason is that our focus is on the practices of sharing, not on the data.
  • By data sharing practices we mean legal, technical or, in general, professional procedures that are observable in the space of data sharing. This space is so new that it may be too soon to talk about best practices already: it will be up to the community SCDS will develop to decide what works best.
  • By legal frameworks we refer to the broad systems of rules that govern and regulate decision making, agreements, compliance, laws, etc. Our focus is on the legal frameworks of the European Union and its Member States, however we will also observe and learn from the experience of other countries worldwide.
  • By access and distribution technology we refer to aspects such as data security, identification and traceability of data sources, and data publication through APIs.

SCDS is for everyone. It is our ambition, over the course of the initiative, to assist the community of practice as it evolves from the basic to the more challenging situations.

 

What is the Support Centre for Data Sharing not about?

The scope of the space SCDS addresses is very wide, and we need focus to be effective. This means choosing carefully our scope, and collaborating with other pre-existing initiatives and working groups rather than trying to cover their space, too. The scope of SCDS does not extend to developing the following topics:

  • Open data. Please visit the European Commission website dedicated to that: the European Data Portal.
  • Data sharing between individuals - e.g. within friends or family on social networks - and their implications on privacy. Our research, however, will be on the awareness of the legal frameworks dedicated to protect individuals’ rights, such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation.
  • Technology topics that are related to, but not strictly about, data access and distribution. E.g. we will not study subjects such as cloud computing or blockchain, developed respectively by other EU initiatives such as the Free flow of non-personal data or the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum

The Support Centre for Data Sharing is run for the European Commission by a consortium of three companies: Capgemini Invent, Fraunhofer Fokus and Timelex.