Regulating transborder flow of personal information for development in the G77+China group

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    Transborder data flow (TBDF) has generated much controversy in this era of globalisation. Various questions regarding its exact nature, dimension and role have been raised by scholars. Nevertheless, the majority of scholars agree that TBDF is crucial for development in every state and even more important for developing countries. In spite of the general consensus that TBDF is vital for development, it raises some concerns such as the infringement of individuals’ right to privacy. This has made countries and international organisations regulate TBDF in data protection instruments. Such instruments in some cases put stringent conditions on TBDF, which could be an obstacle to the free movement of personal data across borders and may even serve as a non-tariff barrier against developing countries, including G77 states. The implication of this trend of events is that if G77 states do not take data protection and regulation of TBDF seriously, they may never benefit economically from developed countries. This will, of course, not sit well with the primary purpose for the establishment of the G77+China. With a special focus on the G77, this article examines the role of regulating TBDF in facilitating TBDF for economic development. This topic is crucial in the wake of various initiatives by the G77 to promote trade so as to foster development.