The internet has become today’s global trade route, and personal data is one of its major currencies. The growth in the digital economy is impressive. One study found that economic activity taking place over the internet is growing at 10% per year within the G-20 group of nations. In the United States alone, one estimate found that companies exported nearly $360 billion in digitally deliverable services in 2014.3 The digital economy now drives countless aspects of the world economy.
Much of this economic activity depends on exchanges of personal information and that makes appropriate privacy and security protections essential. The need for extensive information exchanges also means that minimizing barriers to the transfer of information across borders is important to economic growth. Given the expected increase in the size and scope of the digital economy as well as changes in technology that make data collection, analysis and sharing practices easy and seamless, creating convergence and synergy between these two imperatives will become increasingly important.
As practitioners in this area in the U.S. and around the world, it is our job to be open and honest about our different nationally based approaches to privacy; to work together to create practical and executable solutions to support international data transfers such as the Privacy Shield; to find areas of commonality in what will continue to be a constantly changing field; and to look around the corner to anticipate the upcoming challenges, such as the Internet of Things and Big Data.
Click here to read the full article, as published in our Global media and Communications Quarterly.