Data controls in the European Union will oblige decentralised smart-contracts to require a ‘kill switch’, which sparked debate among the Web 3.0 community.
In mid-March, the European Parliament voted in favour of data controls that require smart contracts to have a kill switch button to reset activity. The European Union bill, known as the Data Act included provisions that supposedly aim to give people more control over information from smart devices. This generated concerns in the Web 3.0 community, but also vindicated claims of regulatory capture from onlookers.
Pilar del Castillo Vera, the lead-legislator on the bill, emphasised that the regulations will benefit both consumers and businesses by granting control over the usage of data generated by connected devices. But the bill’s provisions are in direct opposition to fundamental decentralisation principles, as experts have pointed out.
Legal blockchain expert and associate professor at VU Amsterdam University, Thibault Schrepel, said ahead of the vote: “Article 30, as currently drafted, goes a step too far in addressing the issues raised by immutability.”
Schrepel argued that the legal text is ambiguous about who would have to hit the kill switch on a smart contract and that it interferes with the fundamental principle that the automated programs can’t be altered by anyone.
CCIA Europe, a free and open-internet advocacy group said that the Data Act is also in direct conflict with data protection and competition laws.
“We remain concerned with several critical aspects of the 🇪🇺 #DataAct.”
— CCIA Europe (@CCIAeurope) March 21, 2023
Questions about regulatory capture concerning the Ethereum and broader smart-contract ecosystems have long been levied by proof-of-work advocates, and appear to be well-suited in yet another instance of proof-of-stake fragility.
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