Digital transformation of the global economy is bringing markets and people closer. Few conveniences of modern life – from international travel to online shopping to cross-border payments – would exist without the free flow of data.
Yet, impediments to free-flowing data are growing. The “Data Free Flow with Trust (DFFT)” concept is based on the idea that responsible data concerns, such as privacy and security, can be addressed without obstructing international data transfers. Policy-makers, trade negotiators and regulators are actively working on this, and while important progress has been made, an effective and trusted international cooperation mechanism would amplify their progress.
This white paper makes the case for establishing such a mechanism with a permanent secretariat, starting with the Group of Seven (G7) member-countries, and ensuring participation of high-level representatives of multiple stakeholder groups, including the private sector, academia and civil society.
This new institution would go beyond short-term fixes and catalyse long-term thinking to operationalize DFFT.