Why India refused to sign Osaka declaration on free flow of data across borders?

At the G20 Summit, the world leaders came together to launch of “Osaka track”, an overarching framework promoting cross-border data flow with enhanced protections launched by Japan. India, South Africa, Egypt and Indonesia stayed away from the declaration.

Osaka Track
  • Osaka Track is a process which demonstrates the commitment to promote international policy discussions, inter alia, international rule-making on trade-related aspects of electronic commerce at the WTO.
  • The track calls for harnessing the full potential of data and digital economy, and increase efforts to engage with relevant international fora for the purpose.
  • It seeks to standardise rules in global movement of data flows with better protection in personal information, intellectual property and cybersecurity.
  • The track recognizes data as an important source of economic growth, and calls for its effective use for contributing to the social well-being in all countries.
  • The declaration calls to make further efforts to achieve substantial progress in the negotiations by the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in June 2020.
India’s Concerns
  • India wants the global frameworks to give due attention to the digital divide between countries.
  • The digital divide within and across nations is a serious impediment for developing countries to benefit from Digital Trade.
  • Developing countries need to address capacity constraints or facilitating a level playing field in the digital economy for all countries to take equitable advantage of data free flow.

Data is the new oil. India is stressing for data localistion and is demanding to take into account of developing countries while preparing a framework to promote cross-border data flow with enhanced protections.


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