It may become simpler to shuttle info all over borders in the future. A sum of 24 nations have inked a statement backing the Osaka Track, a project by Shinzo Abe (Japanese Prime Minister) that might make rules for a “free flow” of data while respecting copyright, privacy, and security. The promise is meant to drive digital businesses that may otherwise stagger over lawful challenges.
The signatories comprise major nations such as China, the US, and Russia. On the other hand, there are already issues as to whether or not this will result in concrete measures. Some of the members are extremely protective of their nation’s data, for different reasons. Russia and China, for example, tend to insist on firms amassing info locally both to assist them onslaught on political dissidents and as a competitive tool. The EU (European Union), in the meantime, is worried about privacy breaches that can come with sharing data outside of member states.
Other G20 participants, comprising Indonesia, India, and South Africa, were also absent. India specifically has needed to keep info at home to maintain a competitive edge.
Osaka Track can still be useful. It commits to frame concessions at the World Trade Organization over digital commerce, where 78 nations intend to take part. On the other hand, it is actually just the beginning of an uncertain, long process—although a promising one.
On a related note, the data protection watchdog of Finland is probing HMD (Nokia owner) over claims that its mobiles sent info to Chinese servers. The investigation follows a report by NRK (public broadcaster of Norway) in which it stated to have proof that Nokia handsets are transferring sensitive data to China on the basis of a tip from HMD. Henrik Austad, the man in question, claimed that he had been observing the traffic from his Nokia 7 Plus only to see that it was transferring unencrypted data to a Chinese server while turned on.