Countries signing data sharing pacts

Earlier this month, the United States and the United Kingdom signed a monumental agreement on data sharing. This agreement allows the two countries to share data between each other electronically for certain criminal cases. This agreement is important because it will open the door for similar international agreements to be signed by more countries, increasing data flow from one country to another. The agreement specifically allows authorized officials from the two countries to request electronic data from one another regarding serious crimes, such as terrorism and cyber crime, without legal barriers. A process that traditionally took two years to complete, this new agreement will allow countries to share data at a significantly faster rate.

The CLOUD Act (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act) does raise some concerns, however, about the privacy of the citizens in both countries. For example, if data is being collected from a citizen in the United States and their interaction with a citizen from the U.K. for a specific crime, the data they are collecting could contain information about another crime they are committing, unrelated to the one they were initially investigating. This is a concern for citizens in both countries as their respective privacy’s could be compromised. Despite this, the idea seems to be gaining popularity as more countries are expected to follow in the U.S. and U.K.’s footsteps in the coming months.

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