Data Localization Laws and Policy
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Data Localization Laws and Policy

The EU Data Protection International Transfers Restriction Through a Cloud Computing Lens

W. Kuan Hon

Countries are increasingly introducing data localization laws, threatening digital globalization and inhibiting cloud computing adoption despite its acknowledged benefits. This multi-disciplinary book analyzes the EU restriction (including the Privacy Shield and General Data Protection Regulation) through a cloud computing lens, covering historical objectives and practical problems, showing why the focus should move from physical data location to effective jurisdiction over those controlling access to intelligible data, and control of access to data through security.
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Chapter 3: The ‘transfer’ concept

The EU Data Protection International Transfers Restriction Through a Cloud Computing Lens

W. Kuan Hon


• ‘Transfer to a third country’: meaning, data ‘movement’, physical location. • Internet ‘transfers’ – ‘pull’/‘push’; multistage (websites, public cloud, modern outsourcing chains). • ‘Transit’ for Internet routing; GDPR problems. • Webhosting ‘transfers’, provider’s establishment, infrastructure location. • Lindqvist. ‘Pull’, intention to provide access, providers’ status/establishment; server location; UK, the Netherlands, European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS). • Cloud computing ‘transfers’. Data location, jurisdiction, vs intelligible access to data. • Cloud infrastructure’s location, vs EU regulators’ location-centricity (SWIFT, Safe Harbour, ‘model clauses’, cloud decisions in Denmark, Sweden; Article 29 Working Party (WP29)’s WP196; cf. Canada). • US Microsoft warrant case, extraterritoriality, International Communications Privacy Act (ICPA). • Cloud supply chains, intelligible access, jurisdiction. Legal responsibility for data protection. Many possible cloud ‘locations’ (storage, VMs, metadata, CDNs, ‘regions’); contractual location commitments. • Location-centricity’s implications, e.g. no country’s jurisdiction. Cloud subcontractors. • Data localization’s disadvantages: costs, resilience/business continuity, global trade/business, knowing/verifying locations. • Policy recommendations. Keywords: international transfers, interpretation, cloud computing, data location, WP196, Lindqvist

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