Apr 3, 2018

Data Localization Requirements: What They Are and Why They Matter

Christine McDaniel Senior Research Fellow , Chad Reese Staff Writer, Joshua Meltzer, Brian Larkin

Many US companies need to move data across borders, and it’s not just the ones you think. In addition to social media and tech firms, traditional companies like payment processors, logistics companies, and physical manufacturers also provide digital services across countries.

This makes them subject to data localization requirements, one of the key emerging issues in trade and trade agreements. Getting these requirements right will position countries to benefit from the increasingly vital benefits of the digital economy. Get them wrong, and countries will be shut out of this growth.

In the case of data localization, the rules of the road are being written as we're driving on it. Thankfully our panel had some ideas to keep us on the right path, with the US keeping to a principled approach that favors openness while safeguarding security and privacy.

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