WASHINGTON—In response to signing of the first U.S.-U.K. data access agreement today, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the world’s leading think tank for science and technology policy, released the following statement from ITIF President Rob Atkinson:
This first-ever bilateral data access agreement is a much-needed improvement to cross-border law enforcement cooperation, as respective agencies now know they can get quicker access to data stored in the United States and United Kingdom. Criminal operations and investigations involve data and global connections, so it makes sense that key countries came together to ensure they have the agreements in place to keep up. The agreement is also a win for firms as it provides a clear framework for managing requests for data, which lessens the compliance burden. By removing the specter of local data storage requirements, it also supports the free flow of data that firms rely on. Hopefully this agreement is the first of many such CLOUD Act Agreements that the United States pursues. The agreements are a positive, constructive alternative to the costly and restrictive local data storage restrictions that some countries are enacting due to concerns about law enforcement access to data.