September 22, 2017

WASHINGTON — Today 15 technology and broader industry advocacy groups in the G7 members jointly unveiled their recommendations to G7 ministers before their meeting in Italy next week. The recommendations concern how governments can shape the global landscape on critical digital policy issues to promote economic growth and innovation. The recommendations – released by ITI, DIGITALEUROPE, JEITA, and CCIA -- urge G7 ministers to focus on ensuring the free flow of data across borders, removing trade barriers, protecting people’s privacy, and thwarting cyberattacks.

The recommendations come as policymakers across the globe are attempting to find the balance on how to protect consumer privacy while also creating an economic environment that facilitates inclusive growth in around the world.

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2017 G7 Industry/ICT Ministers Meeting Recommended Outcomes for Promoting Innovation, Digital Technologies, and Development 22 September 2017

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are vital to the growth and development of the global economy. As reflected in the 2016 G7 “Charter for the Digitally Connected World” and “Joint Declaration by G7 ICT ministers”, the G7 is a critically important setting for several of the world’s leading governments to outline approaches to managing 21st century technology policy challenges, combating protectionism, and growing the global economy in ways that benefit all countries and people. In 2017 global industry respectfully seeks the following outcomes to advance privacy protections, enhance national security and data security, and enable the cross-border data flows and digital technologies that power growth, development, job creation, and innovation in all countries.

  • Data flows and localization measures. Facilitate the free flow of data across borders and refrain from imposing measures requiring the local storage or processing of data or the use of local facilities, hardware, or services—subject only to limited and narrowly-tailored public policy exceptions. Oppose measures that require companies to transfer technology, source code, algorithms, encryption keys, production processes, development methods, or other proprietary information as a condition of doing business.
  • Privacy and data protection. Acknowledge that privacy is a fundamentally important right and commit to pursuing privacy and data protection policies that draw on multi-stakeholder frameworks, promote international interoperability, and support innovation. Refrain from privacy measures that are arbitrary or discriminatory and unnecessarily limit the free flow of data across borders.
  • Cybersecurity. Ensure that cybersecurity measures reflect the global nature of cyberspace; rely on risk management-based approaches that avoid prescribed technology standards; incorporate meaningful consultation with the private sector; and provide for coordinated and consistent efforts to secure digital technologies and protect companies from network-enabled industrial espionage.
  • Standards, technical regulations. Use global, voluntary, industry-led standards; ensure that technical regulations are developed in the most transparent manner possible and are risk-based and least-trade-restrictive in meeting their objectives; promote regulatory cooperation activities to ensure alignment of technical regulations where possible.
  • Emerging technologies and business models. Ensure that any new regulation of emerging technologies (e.g. such as online services, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence) or business models (e.g. platforms), is evidence-based, founded on widely accepted definitions, and narrowly-tailored to address a specific and demonstrated current harm to consumers or competition, and does not unnecessarily restrain innovation, economic growth, and job creation.
  • Taxation. Reinforce the need for international cooperation and consensus on outstanding questions of cross-border taxation in multilateral settings, and ensure the principles of certainty, predictability, and the rule of law, without ring-fencing the digital economy from the rest of the economy for tax purposes.
  • Access to privately-held data. Refrain from mandating access rights to privately held or collected data to avoid violating consumers’ trust, contractual freedom, trade secret protection, intellectual property rights and potentially even domestic data regulations.

Public Policy Tags: Trade & Investment