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JAN 26, 2021 | GLOBAL | US | ASIA PACIFIC | LATIN AMERICA | EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

Multi-Industry Statement Reflects Growing International Consensus on Data Flows at the WTO

BRUSSELS, SINGAPORE, WASHINGTON – January 26, 2021 – BSA | The Software Alliance applauds today’s release of the Multi-Industry Statement on Cross-Border Data Transfers and Data Localization Disciplines in the WTO Negotiations on E-Commerce, which encourages WTO negotiators to agree on a framework to facilitate the seamless and secure movement of information across borders.

“Data flows are at the heart of today’s global economy. They support economic opportunity in every country and across every industry sector,” said Victoria Espinel, President and CEO of BSA. “In today’s remote environment, our jobs, health, education, and well-being depend on digital connectivity and data flows like never before. We urge governments to negotiate WTO commitments that support the seamless and secure cross-border movement of information.”

The multi-industry statement, co-led by BSA and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), reflects unified support from more than 75 associations active across six continents. The signatories call on the 86 WTO members engaged in ongoing e-commerce negotiations to agree on rules on data flows that:

  • Prohibit unnecessary or discriminatory data localization mandates and data transfer restrictions;
  • Apply across all economic sectors;
  • Reflect principles of transparency and interoperability among legal frameworks; and
  • Require all countries to adopt or maintain legal frameworks to protect personal information.

“COVID-19 has underscored the indispensable role of e-commerce in our lives, and we commend the participating WTO Members for the progress made to date,” said ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO. “We cannot rest on our laurels, however. Achieving clear rules on cross-border data flows will be critical to the success of this initiative, and we hope that our broad-based global coalition of signatories will focus the minds of negotiators on this issue.”

The full text is available here.

ABOUT BSA

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.

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