Dems oppose data localization in draft platform

Dems oppose data localization in draft platform

The Democratic National Committee carves out a stance against data localization requirements in the party’s draft platform, released Friday.

The draft calls for greater “access to global markets for American intellectual property and other digital trade by opposing quotas, discriminatory measures, and data localization requirements.”


Data localization means that when data is stored in the cloud, the datacenter it’s stored in is physically located in the country where the data originated. It has posed some difficulty for United States-based internet services trying to compete on a global scale.

Countries us data localization for a variety of purposes. China, for example, currently requires online publishing to host data within the country’s borders – and jurisdiction – in what it considers an antiterrorism measure. It is mulling rules to require all personal data to be stored within the country.  

The European Union has strict requirements for the handling of personal data and only allows storage in countries that can guarantee a certain standard of privacy — one the United States does not meet due to bulk surveillance. The U.S. and EU are currently negotiating a workaround known as Privacy Shield. 

A ban on data localization was a component of the beleaguered Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal.

The Democratic platform addresses the broader concept of cybersecurity in a few other ways. It calls for protection of the free and open Internet, intellectual property and infrastructure.

“We will do all this while protecting the privacy and civil liberties of the American people,” the platform reads. 

It does not take a stance on controversies surrounding encryption.