I&J contributed

Published on
October 6, 2020

On October 5, 2020, Bertrand de La Chapelle, Executive Director of the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network (I&JPN), participated as a panelist in “Data Localization and Trusted Government Access to Data: A Virtual Roundtable in the Context of the Review of the OECD Privacy Guidelines”, organized by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Personal Information Protection Commission of Japan (PPC). 

The event brought together over 140 representatives of OECD member countries, businesses, civil society, and leading experts in academia. The panel followed the presentation by Professor Dan Jerker B. Svantesson, Professor of Law, Bond University, of his report on Data Localization. Pr. Svantesson is also the author of the Internet & Jurisdiction Global Status Report 2019 that was referenced in the discussions. 

Bertrand de La Chapelle called for a nuanced and holistic approach to discussing data localization, an issue which lies at the intersection of economic, human rights, and security dimensions and should not be addressed in separate silos. The report noted the broad diversity of data localization measures and the range of potential impacts on the services of companies from all sectors, calling for an assessment of the proportionality of such measures. 

Underscoring the need to assess the justifications used for establishing data localization requirements, Bertrand de La Chapelle said: “The responsible exercise of sovereignty in the digital age demands taking into account the extraterritorial impact of any data localization measure and the potential consequences if it were replicated in a large number of countries”.

Bertrand de La Chapelle also highlighted that the two topics addressed in the virtual roundtable are key for the development of a coherent regime for cloud computing.

If we sufficiently develop the transnational regimes applicable to cloud services in terms of privacy protection and access to electronic evidence, then a lot of the incentives for data localization will probably be reduced.” he said. 

Work to address cross-border access to e-evidence is currently being undertaken in the I&JPN Data & Jurisdiction Program which enables senior-level global key actors from governments, internet companies, technical operators, civil society, leading universities, and international organizations to collaboratively address this transnational policy challenge. A multistakeholder group has developed operational Norms, Criteria and Mechanisms in that regard and recent outcomes provide a tool for stakeholders to analyze current and upcoming regimes  (I&J Outcome REF: 20-111), as well as a checklist for processing requests for access to subscriber information (I&J Outcome REF: 20-112).