In a joint statement coordinated by the BEUC (European Consumer Organisation), the Chamber of Labour together with 41 consumer and digital rights groups underlines the importance of trust in the digital economy. This trust can only be guaranteed if people’s fundamental right to data protection and privacy comes first.
Since January 2019, more than 80 countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have been negotiating a new rule book for digital trade - the Joint Statement Initiative on e-commerce (JSI). Cross-border data flows are one of the key provisions in these negotiations. The announced goal of the initiative is to define global rules to make it easier for consumers and companies to trade online. An outcome which does not protect people’s digital rights could further weaken the already fragile WTO. Thus, there is a lot at stake for the participating countries when it comes to designing a deal that puts people at its centre and fully protects their rights.
Therefor it's crucial to consider the broad implications of any cross-border data flows provisions, which could undermine people’s human right to privacy and personal data protections. An approach is needed, which secures a privacy-friendly outcome and improves consumer's trust in the global digital economy.