Arcom (FR): Summary of the public consultation on researchers' access to platform data

posted on 29 June, 2023   (public)

New data access mechanisms are required to tackle inconsistencies, ensure transparency and secure sensitive data 

In May 2022, Arcom launched a public consultation on access to data from online platforms for research purposes. The French media regulator's objective was to contribute to the debate on accessing data and building an innovative model at the European level, with a consultation focused on issues over which it has jurisdiction: combatting information manipulation and online hate.

On 20 June 2023, Arcom published a summary of the information collected from various stakeholders (i.e. researchers but also the civil society and the industry). 

With this analysis, the French regulator intends to "identify the main difficulties encountered by researchers and to envision how national and European regulators could facilitate the appropriate implementation of the new regulation (the Digital Services Act) and build on the works produced by researchers to strengthen their approach".

Main takeaways and recommendations as identified by Arcom:

  • Inconsistency in data access leads to a concentration of research only on services willing to provide access and to important asymmetries in terms of analysis. 
  • The modalities of data access must be adapted to fit the degree of sensitivity of the data concerned.
  • Researchers call for clear, effective and transparent data access protocols, involving an intermediary entity.
  • New access mechanisms shall be built on existing expertise.

All the replies received are also available on Arcom's website.

Source: Arcom