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Policy - Data Localization

Data Localization

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Information that flows through the internet, or digital data, is critically important to our societies and the global economy. Businesses rely on data for their daily operations, governments use data to make policy decisions, researchers analyze data to solve complex local and global problems, and everyday internet users send and receive data each time they connect, use online applications, send or receive email, or post on social media. The free flow of data across national borders and around the world is a core function of the internet, but the proliferation of data also creates challenges for policymakers. Unfortunately, in an attempt to protect privacy and security and to promote economic growth, some governments have taken troubling measures to require that data be stored, processed, or handled within their borders. These misguided policies, called data localization, can have serious, harmful, and unintended consequences to economies and citizens alike.

To see a list of data localization measures around the world, see ITI’s Snapshot of Data Localization Measures

For an introduction to data flows and their importance to the global economy and society, see the ITI Decodes Data Flows Video


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