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Cross-Border Data Flow Restrictions:Viewing from Privacy Protection (No.133, 2019)


By Chen Hongna, Research Department of Foreign Economic Relations, DRC

Research Report, No.133, 2019 (Total 5633) 2019-8-12

Abstract: Since the beginning of the 1990s, the development of Internet technology has made large-scale cross-border data flow become an important part of globalization, which has aggravated public concerns about personal privacy security in various countries. Privacy legislation in the world has been put on top agenda and some countries even take a competitive approach in the course of privacy legislation. Strictly speaking, privacy legislation is not equal to trade policy, whereas it has become a major uncertainty that blocks the way of future international trade development due to its excessive restrictive measures on cross-border data flow. At present, the feasibility and effectiveness of mainstream cross-border data flow governance plans in the international community still rely on more appropriate arrangements on the division of privacy boundaries, the balance of interests in both protection and development and the law enforcement fairness. In order to alleviate the distorting effects on international trade, various countries need to strengthen dialogues and improve inclusiveness between their different mechanisms. Efforts need to be made to promote the joint governance by the government and non-government entities and enhance the transparency of legislation and jurisdiction. In terms of China, cross-border data flow needs to be regarded as the fundamental guarantee for making good use of the new technological revolution and keeping pace with global development trend. And work needs to be done to avoid the artificial “digital divide” and the government needs to participate in the formulation of international rules with a more opened manner.

Key words: privacy protection, personal data, cross-border data flow