G7 agrees on principles to govern cross-border data use, digital trade

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admin November 10, 2021
Updated 2021/11/10 at 2:11 PM

On October 22, the G7 countries signed an agreement on a set of principles to regulate cross-border data use and digital trade.

The ‘G7 Digital Trade Principles’ were agreed upon by trade ministers from the seven nations that convened in London. Concerns about domestic data encryption and localization regulations were expressed in a statement released after the conference.

“We are concerned about circumstances where data localization requirements are being utilised for protectionist and discriminatory reasons, as well as to undermine open societies and democratic ideals, including freedom of speech,” read the G7 communiqué.

The comment is significant since India has been considering data localisation rules, which would limit the flow of data about Indian users across borders by keeping and processing it inside the nation.

“We should remove unjustifiable barriers to cross-border data flows while continuing to address privacy, data protection, intellectual property rights protection, and security,” according to the communiqué.

The G7 declaration emphasised that corporations should not be compelled to reveal encryption keys, which led to a court dispute between New Delhi and Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp earlier this year.

“As a condition of market access, businesses should not be obliged or pressured to transfer technology or grant access to source code or encryption keys.” “At the same time, governments must have enough freedom to pursue legitimate regulatory objectives, such as health and safety,” the report said.

“We reject digital protectionism and authoritarianism,” the communiqué said, “and today we have endorsed the G7 Digital Trade Principles, which will govern the G7’s approach to digital trade.”

The G7 includes the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Canada.

The elite global group’s accord is noteworthy because it has the potential to liberalise hundreds of billions of dollars in digital commerce.

The agreement strikes a balance between Europe’s highly regulated data protection regimes and the United States’ more open approach.

According to the statement, the principles addressed open digital markets, cross-border data flows, worker, consumer, and corporate protections, digital trading platforms, and fair and inclusive global governance.

“This accord is a real breakthrough that is the fruit of hard diplomatic graft,” a British official familiar with the arrangement said.

“We all depend on digital commerce on a daily basis, but the global rules of the game have been a wild west for years, making it impossible for firms to capitalise on the enormous potential available.”

 

Source: MoneyControl

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