How it works: For example, China, Russia and Vietnam require companies to store data on servers physically located within their borders. And countries including Argentina and Brazil restrict international data transfers under certain conditions.
The big picture: There are currently no international rules on how data cross borders. So a patchwork of government policies that trap data inside their countries or prevent foreign data brokers from doing business there could hamper the development of data-intensive technologies such as artificial intelligence, experts say.
Where it stands:...MUCH MORE
Social media companies also have a lot to lose to data regulation and overseas trade barriers. Here's how many of their users are located outside of North America:
- New digital obstacles threaten nearly $400 billion of annual U.S. exports, according to the Washington Post.
- Most of the world's biggest data processors are based in the U.S., which means firms like Salesforce, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM and Google have the most on the line in these international negotiations.
The issue becomes even more complicated and critical as major tech companies almost exclusively store data in "clouds" that can be located anywhere, rather than physical servers in a handful of domestic locations.
- 87% of Facebook's daily active users
- 57% of Snapchat's daily active users
- 79% of Twitter's monthly active users
Several dynamics are shaping the way data flows internationally....
- The biggest technology companies are transitioning business opportunities into cloud-based software. Amazon's Web Services business (AWS), is pushing to become the biggest enterprise business globally.. Microsoft's Cloud business is projected to bring in a whopping $20 billion in net revenue, per the company's last quarterly earnings statement.