Journal Article

Another Digital Divide: The Rise of Data Realms and its Implications for the WTO

Susan Ariel Aaronson and Patrick Leblond

in Journal of International Economic Law

Volume 21, issue 2, pages 245-272
Published in print June 2018 | ISSN: 1369-3034
Published online May 2018 | e-ISSN: 1464-3758 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jiel/jgy019
Another Digital Divide: The Rise of Data Realms and its Implications for the WTO

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  • Financial Law
  • Public International Law
  • International Economic Law
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Abstract

Individuals, businesses, and governments increasingly use data to create new services delivered via the internet. In so doing, they are creating a new economy built on cross-border data flows. The USA, the European Union, and China are using domestic and foreign policies to reap data-based economies of scale and scope. Essentially, they have created three distinct data realms with different approaches to data governance. As a result, they have fostered a new digital divide: between the three data behemoths and other countries that are rule takers. This situation presents the WTO with a challenge and an opportunity. These three data realms could undermine the ability of the WTO to govern trade in data flows, but it also creates pressures for the three data realms to use WTO mechanisms to find common ground among their approaches. Moreover, it could provide an incentive to WTO members to create new rules governing trade in data.

Journal Article.  13715 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Financial Law ; Public International Law ; International Economic Law ; Economics

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