In the early days of cloud computing, some people argued that for privacy and security reasons—or sometimes simply to boost local businesses—it would be better to store data domestically. Foreign firms, they argued, cannot be trusted. This policy, known as data localization, unfortunately has since become widespread, raising cloud computing costs for businesses and undermining the global free flow of data that underpins international trade and commerce. Moreover, the policy serves virtually no purpose, since the privacy and security of data stored in the cloud depends on the technical controls used to safeguard it, not where it is located.
Many countries are waking up to this problem and taking steps to roll back such measures, but as Daniel Castro and Ashley Johnson write in The Hill it appears not enough policymakers learned their lesson, as history seems to be repeating itself with another emerging technology: drones.