Regulating Cross-Border Data Flows in a Data-Driven World: How WTO Law Can Contribute

  • Andrew D Mitchell and Neha Mishra
  • Journal of International Economic Law

    Vol 22 (3)

  • 2019

While the free cross-border movement of data is essential to many aspects of international trade, several countries have imposed restrictions on these data flows. The pre-internet rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) discipline some of these restrictions, but they are insufficient. Unfortunately, so are the electronic commerce chapters in modern preferential trade agreements. This article argues that reformed WTO rules, which take account of the policy challenges of the data-driven economy, are required. These reforms would facilitate internet openness while ensuring consumer and business trust, promoting digital inclusion of developing countries, and incorporating clear exceptions for legitimate domestic policies.

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