Skip to content


News Posted on July 22, 2016

Professor Chander Publishes Op-ed on ‘Data Localization'

Professor Anupam Chander has published an op-ed on "Why Democrats and Republicans Should Oppose Data Localization" in Net Politics, a feature of the Council on Foreign Relations website.

Proponents of data localization, or government requirements that data physically stay within a particular jurisdiction's boundaries, often argue that it is essential to protect privacy.  In reality, it reduces privacy, undermines the security of data, and impedes free trade, Chander writes. 

"Data localization also undermines one of the internet's greatest gifts: the ability of individuals to communicate with each other across borders and access information," Chander states. "Individuals whose home countries' media is heavily censored have often employed foreign internet services to circulate and read information about what is happening in their country."

Noting that the Democratic Party included in its platform a commitment to oppose data localization, Chander encourages Republicans to do likewise, writing that data localization is "a threat to both freedom of expression and free trade. Let us hope that both parties can find common ground on this issue."

Professor Chander, Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law at UC Davis School of Law, is a leading scholar of international economic law and cyberlaw. He is the author of The Electronic Silk Road: How the Web Binds the World in Commerce, published in 2013 by Yale University Press. His scholarly papers can be accessed via his Social Science Research Network author page.