Paper by Nigel Cory, Robert D. Atkinson, and Daniel Castro: “Just as there was a set of institutions, agreements, and principles that emerged out of Bretton Woods in the aftermath of World War II to manage global economic issues, the countries that value the role of an open, competitive, and rules-based global digital economy need to come together to enact new global rules and norms to manage a key driver of today’s global economy: data. Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s new initiative for “data free flow with trust,” combined with Japan’s hosting of the G20 and leading role in e-commerce negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO), provides a valuable opportunity for many of the world’s leading digital economies (Australia, the United States, and European Union, among others) to rectify the gradual drift toward a fragmented and less-productive global digital economy. Prime Minister Abe is right in proclaiming, “We have yet to catch up with the new reality, in which data drives everything, where the D.F.F.T., the Data Free Flow with Trust, should top the agenda in our new economy,” and right in his call “to rebuild trust toward the system for international trade. That should be a system that is fair, transparent, and effective in protecting IP and also in such areas as e-commerce.”
The central premise of this effort should be a recognition that data and data-driven innovation are a force for good. Across society, data innovation—the use of data to create value—is creating more productive and innovative economies, transparent and responsive governments, better social outcomes (improved health care, safer and smarter cities, etc.).3But to maximize the innovative and productivity benefits of data, countries that support an open, rules-based global trading system need to agree on core principles and enact common rules. The benefits of a rules-based and competitive global digital economy are at risk as a diverse range of countries in various stages of political and economic development have policy regimes that undermine core processes, especially the flow of data and its associated legal responsibilities; the use of encryption to protect data and digital activities and technologies; and the blocking of data constituting illegal, pirated content….(More)”.