The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitisation of the economy, underscoring the importance of data utilisation and data flows to economic recovery and growth. The constant, real-time movement of data across international borders that underpins global economic activity facilitates the movement of goods, services, and finance, and plays an essential role in driving emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and the Internet-of-Things (IoT). As countries implemented physical shutdowns and social distancing measures, the access to digital tools, services, and infrastructure – which rely on the seamless movement of data – were fundamental in helping to sustain social and economic activity.
Commissioned by Salesforce and prepared by Access Partnership, this report is the second edition of the Cross-Border Data Flows Index (CBDFI) which was first presented in 2019. The Index quantifies and evaluates eight regulatory dimensions that serve to either restrict or enhance the volume and variety of cross-border data flows for G20 economies. For this 2021 edition of the report, Singapore has been added to the original economies covered. It has created a conducive policy and regulatory environment for the development of its digital economy. Experiences from Singapore can be leveraged to enable seamless flow of data across borders.
The report recommends long-term measures to build trust and confidence as well as short-term initiatives that will deliver immediate results in offering clarity on data transfer mechanisms.