JAN 29, 2020 | US
USMCA Formalizes Free Flow of Data, Other Tech Issues
Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2020
By Agam Shah and Jared Council
The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement hands executives and companies more certainty about technology issues, including liability protection and free flow of data across borders, analysts say.
Victoria Espinel, president and CEO of software-industry trade group BSA, said, “This agreement is a big deal for CIOs, and it is entirely different from Nafta,” adding that the internet, cloud computing and artificial intelligence weren’t commercial realities in the early 1990s. “The major technological innovations over the past couple of decades that shape our lives and have such a significant impact on...the jobs that CIOs do—they didn’t exist when Nafta was negotiated.”
USMCA also includes a provision that restricts governments from forcing companies to disclose their underlying source code, such as algorithms that power AI systems. Ms. Espinel of BSA said this provision promotes business predictability and avoids situations where businesses are forced to unveil trade secrets.
“For any company that’s creating software—and as you know that’s not just software companies—knowing that governments won’t be able to force them to disclose the source code for their software is a real benefit,” she said.
BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that help businesses of all sizes in every part of the economy to modernize and grow.
With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 30 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.