Asia & Australia

November 12, 2018

Storing data locally poses risk to growth of digital economy: Ravi Menon, MD, Monetary Authority of Singapore


In a recent event held by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)— central bank of Singapore—Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS, said, concerted moves by countries to force companies to store data locally poses a risk to the growth of the digital economy.

Menon said, “We need more data connectivity, and less data localization. This is a serious risk... Data localization measures are on the rise around the world. If data cannot cross borders, the digital economy cannot cross borders and we will be poorer for it.”

He added, “Not all data localization is bad: there may be some legitimate concerns about national security. But a good part of data localization that is happening in the world today is due to misguided notions of cybersecurity or data privacy, or worse still, old-fashioned protectionism.”

With intentions to gain greater control over the Internet, many countries in Asia and elsewhere are pursuing data localization laws.

In this regard, Menon observed, “We need common data standards across countries so data can flow freely in an environment of trust and security.”

He concluded, “In the digital economy of the future, data connectivity agreements among countries will become as important as today’s free trade agreements.”

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