Data Protection and Digital Trade in the Wake of the NSA Revelations
Intereconomics 48, September/October 2013
5 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2014
Date Written: November 10, 2013
In this article, we examine the trade and national security spillovers of U.S. and EU approaches to data protection. Both governments want to protect the privacy of citizens moving information through the cloud, ensure that information flows smoothly across the Atlantic and enable government officials to protect their citizens from harm by monitoring such information flows when necessary. We argue that neither the EU nor the U.S. has developed a consistent stance. The U.S. wants to ensure that trade rules include language facilitating the free flow of information as a default position and wants to maintain aspirational and voluntary language on privacy. But the NSA revelations have threatened U.S. leadership of the Internet, as well as American market share; hence, the U.S. must take steps to protect privacy and build trust. Meanwhile, some European officials want EU firms to tout their respect for privacy to gain cloud market share. Yet like the U.S., several EU member states monitor private communications of their citizens and non-citizens and, in so doing, devalue the privacy rights they supposedly prize.
Keywords: trade, internet, privacy, cyber-security
JEL Classification: F10, F19, F13, 030, 032, 052
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation