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Curbing data flows: Digital sovereignty on the rise

Regulatory regimes around the world are pushing to claim jurisdiction over data. While the impact of such policies remains largely unknown, the curbing of data flows and potential splintering of the global internet threaten to undermine development and economic growth.

As data becomes more central in today’s increasingly digital economy, some governments are reserving the right to control the collection, ownership, usage, and storage of citizens’ data. For these policymakers, the digital world can no longer remain outside government jurisdiction. Subjecting the internet and the data it generates to traditional conceptions of territoriality disrupts the flow of cross-border data and threatens to limit the potential of new technologies. Data sovereignty may radically alter digital trends that appear to be unstoppable.

This outlook also complicates efforts to build a global consensus on shared rules for governing how data crosses borders for processing or storage. The potential fragmentation of the global digital economy prompts critical questions. Will stricter regulation impede international trade? Should policymakers wield power over data in ways that limit its utility for society at large?

Join esteemed experts of public policy – Deborah Elms of the Asian Trade Centre, Susan Ariel Aaronson of George Washington University’s Digital Trade and Data Governance Hub, Associate Professor of Law Henry Gao of Singapore Management University, and Francisco Mingorance of Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe – to learn their insights and recommendations on digital sovereignty. This webinar was moderated by Dini Djalal, Associate Director (Editorial) of the Hinrich Foundation.

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