Coherent International Trade Policies Hasten, Not Retard, Cloud Computing
Global Trade and Customs Journal, Vol. 7, Issue 9, 2012
19 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2012
Date Written: 2012
Amid the apparent global economic slowdown affecting multiple goods and services sectors, including those comprising the broad rubric of ICTs, the availability of ubiquitous multiple broadband and Internet-based cloud offerings continue to present national and regional governments with a significant potential source of current and future local economic growth and job creation possibilities. While governments cognizant of this opportunity have endeavored to exploit it, they have, however, largely remained cautious in addressing emerging public policy concerns surrounding third country digital transfers of individual and business data to the cloud. A number of governments have embraced different and often inconsistent regulatory and voluntary approaches in answer to these data/informational privacy and data security concerns. These responses have imposed significant direct and indirect restrictions on trans-border data flows that have had the undesirable effect of retarding the adoption of cloud computing service platforms in various markets. More established globally-focused cloud service providers have been most adversely impacted by these new measures, even after having previously reformed their IP-based business models to satisfy foreign governments’ expressed preference for less expensive royalty-free ICT interoperability frameworks. Consequently, these and other companies, increasingly suspicious of disguised protectionism at play, have called upon governments to quickly reach consensus in one or more multilateral, regional and/or bilateral forums on an open, transparent and non-trade-restrictive framework capable of providing a positive enabling environment that facilitates the eventual expansion of international cloud computing.
Keywords: cloud computing, data privacy, cross-border, disguised protectionism, internet, economic growth, job creation, digital transfer, personal data, business data, data security, national security, data flow restrictions, accountability approach, adequacy approach
JEL Classification: A10, H10, H50, H60, J21, J23, J40, J68, K20, K33, L52, L86, L96, L98, N70, O10, O19, O31, O32, O38
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