Posts Under: cross-border data flows

Data Flows and Development - There is a link!

SIIA hosted a panel discussion for delegates to the World Trade Organization (WTO) E-Commerce Work Committee in Geneva on March 14, 2017.  UNCTAD’s Cecile Barayre, the Brookings Institution’s Joshua Meltzer, Tala’s Zach Marks, and Google’s Nicholas Bramble provided background information, which elicited many insightful questions.  One takeaway that is perhaps not obvious to all who participate in trade negotiations is that cross-border data flows are not necessarily synonymous with domestic deregulation.  This is consistent with SIIA’s view that governments should permit – indeed even encourage – cross-border data flows through offering data transfer interoperability mechanisms that enable cross-border data flows, but at the same time ensure compliance with national privacy and other laws.  This resource paper provides information on sources that governments and others can consult as they consider policy in this space.


New Avenues to Govern Cross-Border Information Flows

The Elliott School of International Affairs hosted a very interesting conversation today on “New Avenues to Govern Cross-Border Information Flows.”  SIIA co-sponsored the event together the Internet Society of Greater Washington, D.C.  The Institute for International Economic Policy (IIEP) presented the event.  Research Professor and Cross-Disciplinary Fellow Susan Aaronson moderated. I provided an industry perspective, and my talk is available here.  My written remarks focus on what we hope to achieve with respect to cross-border data flows in the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), the WTO’s E-commerce Work Committee, the G20, G7, and the OECD.   However, as fellow panelist USTR Director for Digital Trade Sam DuPont concentrated on these fora, I emphasized in my spoken remarks four aspects of the cross-border data flow discussion.  First, key industry “asks” such as obligations to permit data flows, avoidance of serv ...


The Real World Impacts of Data Localization Policies

Data localization rules existed before the 2013 Snowden revelations.  However, they really took off afterwards.  Whether they are motivated by a genuine desire to protect privacy or because of industrial policy rationales, they are harmful to consumers and often do not enhance security.  For example, proposed Chinese “secure and controllable” regulations for the insurance sector would impose a data localization requirement.  In effect, this would raise costs for insurance customers in China and do nothing to enhance the security of their data.  SIIA is working with other trade associations to make this and other points with the Chinese government and the World Trade Organization.  See this June 2, 2016 letter from the United States Information Technology Office (USITO) on this topic.       There have been a variety of studies, which look into the costs of data localization.  In their paper on the costs of data localizatio ...