Data Localisation in China and Other APEC Jurisdictions
(2016) 143 Privacy Laws & Business International Report, 22-26
9 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2017 Last revised: 13 Jul 2018
Date Written: September 29, 2016
Data localisation provisions are becoming commonplace around the world, not just in Russia. In many of these countries, local data protection laws may require that certain categories of data must be stored and processed on local servers within the country. Such provisions may require that some or all categories of personal data may only be stored and processed on local servers, or they make their export subject to conditions. Both types of provision may be called ‘data localisation’. Such laws are controversial.
The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty between some APEC member countries includes onerous requirements on any Parties which have (or are considering) data localisation laws.
The focus of this article is the data localisation requirements which are now emerging in China, an APEC member even though it has not proposed to become a party to the TPP. As yet, China's data localisation laws are only sectoral. Another version may soon be enacted in the Cybersecurity Law (nearing finalisation), which requires that “critical information infrastructure” (“CII”) providers to store “citizens’ personal information and important business data” within China unless their business requirements require overseas storage and they have passed a security assessment regarding such storage and transfer. Such a provision will have significant implications for many foreign businesses operating in China.
Among APEC jurisdictions, China is not alone in adopting data localisation requirements. As well as the obvious example of Russia’s very sweeping law, they are found in at least Indonesia and Vietnam in very general forms, and in Canada and Australia in sector-specific forms. These are also explained in this article.
Keywords: privacy, data protection, localisation, China, Asia-Pacific
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