GSMA calls for freer flow of data across borders - Mobile World Live

GSMA calls for freer flow of data across borders

06 SEP 2018

LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 SERIES – DIGITAL SOCIETIES, BANGKOK: The GSMA called for governments in Asia to find the right balance as they draft data privacy regulations, in order to significantly enhance economic activity and future innovation.

In a new report, Regional Privacy Frameworks and Cross-Border Data Flows, the industry group suggests that by removing unnecessary restrictions on the movement of data internationally, governments in Asia can expand the region’s digital economy and unlock further socio-economic benefits for citizens.

Over the past decade, international data flows increased global GDP by 10.1 per cent and their annual contribution to global GDP has already surpassed $2.8 trillion, a larger share than the global trade in goods. The ability to transfer, store and process data enables commerce; spurs innovation; and drives the development of new technologies, platforms, services and infrastructure, the GSMA stated.

Although the Asia-Pacific region has made progress in developing data privacy frameworks which protect consumers while also allowing data to flow across borders, the report highlighted that variances in privacy laws across countries is holding back trade and innovation. In the report, GSMA also called for better links at a regional level between Asia’s two main privacy frameworks, the ASEAN Framework on Personal Data Protection and APEC Privacy Framework, to enable cross-border data flows.

Regional approach
Boris Wojtan, the GSMA’s director of privacy, said: “Working towards a pan-Asian approach to data privacy is critical to protecting the rights of individuals and unlocking this economic potential, not only in Asia, but around the world. Regulating people’s personal information by a patchwork of geographically bound privacy laws will only restrict how Asian companies can innovate and bring better products and services to consumers in the future. Now is an important time for all countries to take actions to bridge the differences in their privacy regulation and achieve greater alignment.”

The study evaluated various regional data privacy frameworks and their key principles, while diving down into individual countries to identify national approaches to privacy regulation.

In the report, the GSMA recommended APEC and ASEAN governments consider bridging the differences between their respective privacy frameworks and seek interoperability with other regional frameworks. Countries should also advance the alignment of national-level privacy regimes by conducting a landscape analysis to see where they stand in terms of data privacy and reviewing the experience of other governments in the region to understand common paths forward.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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