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Data Is Power


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globe and data nets, illustration

Credit: Foreign Affairs

Matthew Slaughter is Professor of International Business at Dartmouth College, and David McCormick is CEO of Bridgewater Associates.

Data is now at the center of global trade. The global economy consumes it, processes it, and produces ever more quantities of it.

More than other elements of the global economy, data is intertwined with power. It is also readily abused. Countries and companies that seek anti-competitive advantages try to control data.

Yet even as cross-border flows of data have surged, and data itself has become a critical source of power, it remains largely ungoverned. This system is not adequate for the reality of global trade today. Confusion about the value and ownership of data abounds, and major world powers have competing visions of how to manage it.

From Foreign Affairs
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