24 Jun 2021
15:00 - 16:00


The event will address data flows in trade and will answer the following questions: What makes addressing data flows so difficult in trade? Why it's such a politically charged topic? and What makes it different to trading goods and services? 

Policymakers, regulators and experts have been attempting for many years to agree on a common vocabulary and a set of rules to integrate data flows within trade frameworks. Despite the inclusion of data-related clauses (e.g. privacy, security, encryption, e-payments, consumer protection, data portability) in a select number of Free Trade Agreements, important divergences continue to exist among major state powers, particularly in the context of World Trade Organization negotiations. Meanwhile, many developing countries are still hesitant to position themselves in the digital trade debate. 

The impasse may lie on the fact that it is difficult to address data with traditional tools. Unlike resources such as oil or gold, data is neither finite nor naturally located in a particular geographic region. Data is context-dependent, multidimensional, prone to having blurred classification boundaries, and involves complex value chains with numerous intermediaries with increasingly diversified roles, which creates a serious obstacle to universal taxonomies and rules, including trade ones. The scope and depth of the current challenges demonstrate the limits of the existing frameworks. Significant innovation is therefore needed, regarding both the tools and the institutional mechanisms we rely on.

For more information on the event and to register visit the dedicated page

The Geneva Internet Platform is an initiative of the Swiss authorities


Members of the Steering Committee are FDFA, OFCOM and the Canton of Geneva

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