White Papers
Published: 16 January 2023

Data Free Flow with Trust: Overcoming Barriers to Cross-Border Data Flows

The movement of data across country borders is essential to the global economy. When data flows across borders, it is possible to deliver more to more people and produce more benefits for people and planet. This briefing paper highlights the importance of such data flows and urges global leaders in the public and private sectors to take collective action to work towards a shared understanding of them with a view to implementing “Data Free Flow with Trust” (DFFT) – an umbrella concept for facilitating trust-based data exchanges. This paper reviews the current challenges facing DFFT, take stock of progress made so far, offer direction for policy mechanisms and concrete tools for businesses and, more importantly, promote global discussions about how to realize DFFT from the perspectives of policy and business.

The movement of data across country borders is essential to the global economy. When data flows across borders, it is possible to deliver more to more people and produce more benefits for people and planet. This briefing paper highlights the importance of such data flows and urges global leaders in the public and private sectors to take collective action to work towards a shared understanding of them with a view to implementing “Data Free Flow with Trust” (DFFT) – an umbrella concept for facilitating trust-based data exchanges. This paper reviews the current challenges facing DFFT, take stock of progress made so far, offer direction for policy mechanisms and concrete tools for businesses and, more importantly, promote global discussions about how to realize DFFT from the perspectives of policy and business.

To learn more about our work, see the Data Policy platform web page (links to platform Forum site). For questions and inquiries, please reach out to: datapolicy@weforum.org

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