SIIA joins other industry and non-governmental organizations supporting the efforts of Group of Seven (G7) governments to operationalize a vision of Data Free Flow with Trust (DFFT) that strengthens the ability to transfer data across transnational digital networks while building digital trust.

We observe that the ability to access and transmit information across transnational digital networks supports governmental policy objectives, including those relating to cybersecurity, digital transformation, environmental sustainability, financial inclusion, health, innovation, privacy, and trade.

Unfortunately, the OECD has calculated an 800 percent increase in policies that undermine the ability to transfer data across transnational digital networks. The OECD’s 2023 Services Trade Restrictiveness Index explains that the average cumulative increase in such policies was five times higher in 2022 than in 2021 and that barriers to cross-border data transfers topped the list of restrictions

We therefore urge G7 Parties to explore concrete approaches to advancing DFFT. These should include: (a) aligning their own data transfer policies across economies and with international standards; (b) promoting and strengthening cross-border data interoperability mechanisms, such as the Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules Forum; (c) analyzing the importance of data transfers – and the costs of restrictions – in key sectors; and (d) collectively supporting the OECD Declaration on Government Access to Personal Data Held by Private Sector Entities.

We thank the G7 Parties for promoting “Data Free Flow with Trust” so that data transfers can continue to support the economy, environment, education, health, privacy, safety, security, and other important cross-border data policy imperatives.