The Global Rise of ‘Data Localism’

January 31, 2018

The global rise of “data localism”—countries forcing companies to store data locally—is affecting the free flow of data at the heart of today’s digital economy. A growing number of countries are proposing or enacting barriers that make it more expensive and time-consuming, if not illegal, for companies to transfer data across borders, thereby forcing firms to store data locally. Unless the United States and others set new digital trade rules to keep data flows open, this trend toward data localism will yield a balkanized Internet, as data increasingly gets trapped behind virtual border walls.