Posts Under: International Policy

Call For Fintech To Be Included In NAFTA Modernization Underscores Need For Cross-Border Data Flows

Yesterday on August 16, 2017, the first round of the NAFTA modernization talks started.  Our views on NAFTA modernization can be found here.  SIIA wishes the negotiators speedy success and urges the United States, Canada, and Mexico to adopt modern digital trade rules and strengthen respect for intellectual property rights.


Civil Society Groups are Moving the Goalposts on EU-U.S. Privacy Shield

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI) issued a press release today on a letter and brief the two organizations sent to European Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Vera Jourova arguing for invalidation of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield.  The letter and brief can be found here.  On substance of the criticism, these groups continue to sell the U.S. surveillance framework short, failing to recognize extensive transparency and safeguards that underlie the U.S. framework.  That aside, invalidation on these terms is not appropriate because the European Commission’s reasoned and detailed adequacy decision was based on information about U.S. surveillance practices and laws that the Commission had when the decision was released on July 12, 2016. After reviewing the commitments self-certifying organizations would make under the privacy shield and the enforcement mechanisms available under U.S. law, the Commission said, “the United States ensures an a ...


France’s Extraterritorial Interpretation of the Right to be Forgotten Goes to the European Court of Justice

Does the EU’s right to be forgotten extend to the whole world?  The French data protection authority, CNIL, says yes and wants search engines to delist search results which contain information that violates the European Union’s right to be forgotten – not just for French users, not just for European users, but for all users everywhere. Google is prepared to remove offending search results for European users, but balks at removing material globally just because European courts find that it violates European privacy rules. 


G20 Makes the Right Calls on “Harnessing Digitalisation”

The July 7-8, 2017 G20 Leaders’ Declaration includes good language on harnessing digitalization.  SIIA hopes that the ideas in this and other sections of the Declaration will contribute to “Shaping an interconnected world.”   Supporting the free flow of information while respecting applicable legal frameworks for privacy, data protection, and intellectual property rights is the correct approach.  The leaders said that the G20 Roadmap for Digitalisation, which can be found here (see Annex paper 1), will guide future work.  The roadmap contains 11 policy areas where the G20 would like to see action. The G20 wants to improve world-wide access to digital technologies, which means more people need to have access to the Internet.  So, the leaders encourage G20 countries to develop digital strategies that support the ITU’s Global Connect 2020 Agenda goals.  The optimal way to do so is for countries to have a regulatory environme ...


EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement Falls Short on Data Flows

Today, the EU and Japan announced political agreement in principle on an Economic Partnership Agreement.  Overall, this should be a positive development for EU and Japanese workers, consumers, and businesses.  But, it does fall short in one crucial regard.  There is no binding data flow obligation yet.  SIIA put out a statement on this gap today.  Instead of a binding data flow commitment now, the two sides agreed to conclude an accord on data flows in early 2018. 


Big Data: A Twenty-First Century Arms Race Report Launch

The Atlantic Council and Thomson Reuters released a timely report on “Big Data: A Twenty-First Century Arms Race” on June 27, 2017, at a well-attended event at the Atlantic Council’s Washington, D.C. headquarters.  Policymakers all over the world should be aware of the powerful tools at their disposal such as World-Check to address political and economic threats.  This is something of a theme for SIIA.  Recently, for example, we wrote about how artificial intelligence (AI) can help in the anti-money laundering (AML) fight.   We have also written about how FICO’s AML tool works.  The Atlantic Council report contains many realistic policy recommendations, which policymakers from different regulatory “silos” should review.  This is another theme for SIIA.  Regulators and policymakers should engage in regular dialogue with each other.  For example, financial supervisors and privacy regulators should talk to ea ...


Industry Collaboration Promises Substantial Progress in Battle Against Terrorism Online

The threat of terrorism is an all-hands-on-deck challenge, requiring substantial effort not only from national security and law enforcement professionals, but also from citizens and public and private entities. It is well known that terrorists have taken to online platforms in their effort to spread their messages of hate and violence. In response, social media and other online platforms have been working diligently for years to mitigate the threat of terrorism. Recently, these efforts have also enlisted the help of artificial intelligence (AI) to assist analysts in identifying and blocking terrorist propaganda. These efforts are very effective, but as the threat continues to grow, so too does the need to maximize the response. more

Only Congress Can Fix Our International Legal Framework

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a petition seeking the Supreme Court to consider an ongoing legal case about access to data stored overseas.  But the courts are powerless to craft a balanced policy for law enforcement access to data stored abroad.  Only Congress can do it.


Promoting the FinTech Revolution

As FinTech has expanded, so has the desire to ensure that the field remains competitive, innovative, and responsive to consumer demands. In our response questionnaire to the European Commission’s Public Consultation on FinTech, we highlight the potential of FinTech for consumers and businesses, and note where current law works to assure innovation and consumer protection. Where new measures might be needed, a harm-based approach to regulation would be optimal both from the perspective of protecting consumers and from the perspective of encouraging adoption of this technology with all of the attendant potential benefits for consumers. Instead of focusing regulation on the technology used to conduct activity, regulators should focus on the activity itself. In doing so, regulators will remain technologically neutral.


Productivity Remains Key for Prosperity and Good Policy Remains Key to Raising Productivity

Gavyn Davies writes in an April 30, 2017 Financial Times piece that “there have been some signs that productivity growth may be starting to recover from the low points reached a few years ago.”  Davies notes that Jan Hatzius from Goldman Sachs shows somewhat improving labor productivity growth starting in 2016 – Hatzius used official data and numbers from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) purchasing manager’s index.  And Juan Antolin-Diaz is slated to publish work in the Review of Economics and Statistic next month showing an increase in trend productivity growth from 0.3% in 2012 Q2 to 0.7% now.  Davies himself, however, concedes that these numbers are tentative.