USCIB Urges Free Data Flows to Achieve Economic Growth

USCIB filed comments on November 11 in response to a Federal Register notice from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) regarding a proposed approach to consumer data privacy. NTIA’s proposal is designed to provide high levels of protection for individuals, while giving organizations legal clarity and the flexibility to innovate.

USCIB’s comments highlighted the view that the free flow of data and information is critical for economic development and growth, citing a recent study that the increase in GDP from data flows was an estimated $2.8 trillion.

“Business realizes that the benefits of technology innovation enabled by data flows will only be realized and embraced by consumers, businesses, and governments who trust the online environment and feel confident that the privacy of their personal data will be respected,” stated the letter. “USCIB members are committed to complying with applicable privacy regulations and recognize their responsibility to adopt recognized best practices to ensure that personal data and information is appropriately secured as technology and services evolve.”

However countries such as China, India, Malaysia, Panama and South Korea have proposed restrictive data protection laws that could significantly harm U.S. companies while also undermining efforts to enhance global interoperability.

“These countries’ approaches range from quite onerous data localization requirements to national privacy frameworks that are administratively burdensome and complex, all of which end up imposing economic costs on the country by undermining their attractiveness as destinations for jobs-creating investment and innovation,” warned Barbara Wanner, USCIB’s vice president for ICT policy. “They also create an increasingly fragmented regulatory landscape, which imposes added compliance costs on business that hampers continued innovation.”

The comments also highlighted an example of a proposal made by India that would establish an alarming global precedent and could significantly impede the growth of innovation, investment, entrepreneurship, and industrial growth through strict data localization requirements, restrictions on the cross-border data flows, and extraterritorial application.

“It is vital that the U.S. continue to exercise global leadership in pushing back against this type of protective approach to personal data protection,” said Wanner.

NTIA’s initiative runs parallel to the efforts of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop a voluntary privacy framework and the efforts of the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration to increase global regulatory harmony.

To read USCIB’s comments, please visit our website.



Staff Contact:   Barbara Wanner

VP, ICT Policy & Managing Director, Washington Office
Tel: 202.617.3155

Barbara Wanner directs USCIB’s work on information, communications and technology issues. She works with members and government officials on a wide range of international business issue that include advocating for the continuation of the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance and for policies aimed at promoting the stability, openness and innovative flexibility of the Internet. She represents USCIB members’ interests in several international forums, including the UN, APEC and the OECD.
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