The regulation of cross-border data flows

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Journal Article

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Svantesson, D. (2011). The regulation of cross-border data flows. International Data Privacy Law, 1 (3), 180-198.

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2011 HERDC submission. FoR code: 180199

© Copyright the Authors, 2011




The regulation of cross-border data flows represents one of the greatest challenges currently facing data protection authorities and legislators around the world. An excessively strict approach will be harmful to international cooperation, trade, and engagement, while at the same time, too lax an approach will fundamentally undermine the value of privacy protection as a whole. This article discusses the conundrum of regulating cross-border data flows. While it does so in general terms, some special attention is given to how such regulation applies to cross-border data flows on the Internet. Having provided some necessary background observations regarding the issues surrounding the regulation of cross-border data flows, the article provides a brief overview of how a selection of regulatory schemes seeks to address cross-border data flows. Those approaches are then analysed, resulting in the proposal of four fundamental principles that ought to guide the regulation of cross-border data flow.

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This document has been peer reviewed.