from Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program and Net Politics

New Cyber Brief: Transatlantic Data Transfers: The Slow-Motion Crisis

Cables run into the back of a server unit inside the data center.
Cables run into the back of a server unit inside the data center. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

U.S. surveillance activities have alarmed European partners, throwing the future of transatlantic digital trade into question. The United States should embrace collaboration and protections for personal data.

January 13, 2021
11:35 am (EST)

Cables run into the back of a server unit inside the data center.
Cables run into the back of a server unit inside the data center. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Blog Post
Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

The Digital and Cyberspace Policy program has launched a new Cyber Brief. In this brief, Atlantic Council Senior Fellow and Georgetown University Law Center Adjunct Professor Kenneth Propp argues that in the wake of the Shrems II decision, which threw the future of transatlantic data flows into doubt, the United States should develop a strategy to address the European Union (EU)’s concerns about U.S. privacy protections and promote cooperation with other democracies.

Here's the introduction:

More on:

Trade

Digital Policy

Privacy

European Union

Data transfers are at the heart of the robust transatlantic economy, but they have long been plagued by Europe’s doubts about privacy protections in the United States.

The economic stakes are high. Information and communications technology (ICT) services such as social networks and cloud service providers depend on cross-border data transfers, as do other services that can be delivered over ICT networks, including engineering, software, design, and finance. Although trade in digital services is hard to measure precisely, it has become one of the fastest-growing areas for the United States internationally. In 2017, digital services constituted 55 percent of U.S. services exports, yielding 68 percent of the U.S. global surplus in services trade, according to a transatlantic trade study [PDF]. U.S. exports of digital services to Europe that year amounted to $204.2 billion, generating a surplus of more than $80 billion. The transatlantic is the world’s largest area for digital trade.

In order to maintain and expand this trade, U.S. policymakers should develop a strategy to address the EU’s concerns and promote cooperation with other democracies at a multilateral forum, such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, to develop a shared legal framework for government access to personal data.

You can read the full brief here.

More on:

Trade

Digital Policy

Privacy

European Union

Creative Commons
Creative Commons: Some rights reserved.
Close
This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) License.
View License Detail
Close