The Growth of Data Localization Post-Snowden: Analysis and Recommendations for U.S. Policymakers and Business Leaders
The Hague Institute for Global Justice, Conference on the Future of Cyber Governance, 2014
34 Pages Posted: 5 May 2014 Last revised: 30 Aug 2014
Date Written: May 1, 2014
In the wake of the Edward Snowden intelligence disclosures, governments around the world are now considering enacting so-called “data localization” laws, rules that limit the storage, movement, and/or processing of digital data to specific geographies, jurisdictions, and companies. This paper analyzes the complex – and often overlooked – motivations behind the data localization movement, explains how localization policies (in all their various permutations) fail to achieve their stated goals, and highlights some of the many harms localization can cause. Recommendations are provided for U.S. business leaders and policymakers seeking to counter this problematic trend.
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