November 7, 2011 – A software industry association is calling on U.S. and international trade groups to endorse principles that would allow data to flow more freely across borders, which it states will greatly promote business and innovation.
The Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) joined with the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and other trade organizations in backing the promotion of modernized and standardized data flow practices. Key objectives outlined in the principles include the elimination of local data infrastructure mandates, promotion of best practices, transparency of government regulations on data transfers, agreement on security and intellectual property measures, and the end of national barriers to websites such as Facebook, WordPress and Twitter.
The SIIA, in a news release on the data flow principles, pointed to the need for agreed upon standards through examples in instances, such as financial regulators performing compliance checks on international trade information and the ambiguity over legal jurisdiction of information stored in the cloud.
Without a set of standards in place, economic trade and innovation will be stifled for information and software vendors, particularly in the U.S., where many of these businesses are based, says Mark MacCarthy, VP for public policy at SIIA. MacCarthy says that principles would keep prices down and innovation moving ahead for emerging data management areas such as the cloud and virtualization.
“The problem with the cloud is that its real advantages come from the efficient aggregation of data, and if you’re dealing with countries that say you need to have data and data centers within their borders, you lose those efficiencies,” he says.
The release of the principles and announcement of support from trade organizations has come as the U.S. is in the process of reviewing many of its internal information management and IT rules, as well as standardization agreements with Europe and Asia, MacCarthy says. In a statement, SIIA president Ken Wasch said restrictions to the transfer of or access to information across national boundaries should be investigated as violations by the U.S. through groups such as the World Trade Organization and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
“American businesses are being harmed by the many barriers inhibiting the flow of data across international borders,” Wasch said. “Many countries want to impose restrictions on the transfer of data, while others seek to inhibit access by companies or individuals to lawfully available information located outside their jurisdiction. Still others demand that companies provide computing or information services through domestic facilities, in effect requiring localization of plant and equipment.”
The SIIA is based in Washington, D.C., and counts more than 500 software and information vendors in its membership, including board of director seats held by executives from Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce and IBM.
Click here to download a PDF of the data flow principles.
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