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The Era of Borderless Data Is Ending


With Internet speeds increasing and telecom infrastructure advancing, data is often stored far from where it originated.

Credit: Noah Berger/Getty Images

Every time we send an email, tap an Instagram ad or swipe our credit cards, we create a piece of digital data.

The information pings around the world at the speed of a click, becoming a kind of borderless currency that underpins the digital economy. Largely unregulated, the flow of bits and bytes helped fuel the rise of transnational megacompanies like Google and Amazon and reshaped global communications, commerce, entertainment and media.

Now the era of open borders for data is ending.

France, Austria, South Africa and more than 50 other countries are accelerating efforts to control the digital information produced by their citizens, government agencies and corporations. Driven by security and privacy concerns, as well as economic interests and authoritarian and nationalistic urges, governments are increasingly setting rules and standards about how data can and cannot move around the globe. The goal is to gain "digital sovereignty."

From The New York Times
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