Thursday 23 May 2024
Class Room
Brussels Privacy Hub (BE) 


The intricate interplay between data sovereignty and free trade presents complex challenges for policymakers and international relations. Multilateral trade agreements, e.g., the CPTPP and the USMCA, incorporate explicit clauses on data flows and local storage requirements.  Nevertheless, there is no consensus on whether/how measures related to data protection should fall within the purview of free trade agreements. The WTO Joint Statement Initiative on e-commerce highlights the increasing differences among participants regarding cross-border data flows and data localization matters.  This panel will investigate the multifaceted dynamics surrounding the regulation of cross-border data flows, examining how the concept of data sovereignty interacts with the principles of free trade and how the protection of fundamental rights is best preserved. The panel will scrutinize recent developments while exploring whether/how varying approaches to data transfer restrictions can coexist with international free trade commitments.

  • Is the EU approach to data localisation and horizontal provisions in free trade agreements evolving? What does the change of the office of the US Trade Representative really mean?
  • What can be achieved by the global CBPR framework or the Data Free Flow with Trust initiative?
  • What is the relationship between the protection of fundamental rights and data sovereignty?
  • How to reconcile concerns related with the protection of fundamental rights, data sovereignty and free trade? What are the most promising transfer tools in this regard?

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