Will Data Localization help Data Privacy?

Shivakumar D | January 10, 2022

We are witnessing exponential growth of digital data and it is set to grow even faster. In accordance with the growth, many countries have started implementing data protection measures with regulations like the GDPR and CCPA. Data localization has been one of the much-debated topics when it comes to data protection within countries, although the widely well-regarded law – GDPR doesn’t necessitate data localization.

What is Data Localization?

Data Localization means storing data within the territorial limits of the country.

Many countries have been pushing to have companies host their data within their geographical boundaries to ensure data privacy, national security and to increase economic growth by boosting employment locally.

Why is Data Localization needed?

  • To ensure national security
  • Personal data protection and enforcement of data protection laws
  • To boost economic growth and employment
  • To prevent foreign surveillance
  • To secure faster and better access to data for law enforcement
  • To enable cyber-resilience

What are its benefits?

  • Increased Availability: Data localization will pave way to faster communication and better accessibility covering larger parts of the country.
  • Increased Jobs: Data localization will require building infrastructures and networks locally to facilitate localization, creating more jobs and improve employment in the country.
  • Increased Trust: Data stored locally means gaining the trust of the government and the citizens which is a crucial part of any running business.
  • Increased Security: Data within the country means the data is resistant to foreign surveillance and is less likely to fall into the wrong hands. Keeping the data within the country’s borders also makes it easier to standardize infrastructure, network and storage properties which further makes the data flow efficient.
  • Physical Availability: Localizing data also means that the data becomes physically more accessible and therefore easier to maintain.

What are the Challenges?

  • Downturn on the Internet: The reach of the internet is global and data localization is also a threat to the main essence of the internet. The internet is based on the principle of free movement of data. If the free movement is hindered by undue protectionism, it will end up destroying the internet as we know it.
  • Regulatory Concerns: Many companies operating in different parts of the world are required to adhere to different regulations. It has become increasingly difficult for companies to facilitate cross border data transfers between countries with different and sometimes conflicting data protection laws.
  • Surveillance Concerns: There are concerns over that fact that if all the data is stored within the geographical boundaries, local authorities will be able to collate all the data and invade the privacy of individuals.
  • Threats in Innovation efforts: Innovation thrives when there isn’t much financial burden. Therefore, data localization laws can threaten innovation efforts in the digital payments industry.

GAVS Focus Areas

  • Keeping abreast of privacy regulations and acts
  • Leveraging a combination of AI, Automation, Predictive Analytics, and AIOps solutions
  • Design and implementation of controls and responses to protect data, to identify and report breaches, and to take timely action
  • Delivering reliable and timely privacy risk and compliance, privacy by design, data readiness, impact and risk assessments across business functions and third parties
  • Ensuring legitimacy of Data Processing Agreement (DPA)/ Data Transfer Agreement (DTA) in customer contracts relevant to personal data, vendor risk assessment, data breach response assessment, data breach incident management, and data security controls assurance, with DPOaaS (Data Protection Officer as a Service)

GAVS’ Value Proposition

  • Empowerment of the key principles – Transparency, Legitimacy of Purpose, Proportionality
  • Strict adherence to and compliance with data protection laws and regulations
  • Anonymization and Pseudonymization to enable data analytics
  • Dedicated certified privacy specialists with superior contextual knowledge of client environment
  • Highly effective data breach notification and incident management
  • Data Privacy Office (DPO) with standard templates, playbooks, and guidelines
  • Dedicated Data Privacy Officer (DPO) as intermediary between the organization and regional supervisory authorities

Conclusion: Best of Both Worlds?

While one size fits all cannot be the solution, it is important for a company to have a solid understanding of their data flow and how it is stored. This will provide a good base to start handling and implementing according to regulations. The regulators also could allow extended timelines and ease the requirements for compliance making sure that they are proceeded properly and not in haste. Although the best scenario would be to develop a standardized framework for data localization that countries can easily adopt and make improvements on, continual and gradual analysis and implementation are the only way forward.

GAVS’ data privacy services and solutions are designed to help organizations protect their information over the full data lifecycle – from acquisition to disposal. Our service offerings help organizations adhere to data privacy best practices and regulatory compliance in a constantly evolving threat environment and regulatory landscape. In any misuse of data or breach of personal information, GAVS helps in forensic identification of the scope & nature of the data breach, and efficient remediation & reporting of the event.

For more details on GAVS’ Data Privacy solutions, please visit https://www.gavstech.com/service/data-privacy-services/

About the Author –

Aravindh S

Shivakumar D

Shiva has more than 10 years of experience in Operations and Consulting and is leading the Data Privacy function at GAVS. He is passionate about driving innovative solutions around Data Protection. Outside of work he loves to travel and experience new places and culture.

He is driven by this quote – “Your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude”.

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