Zuckerberg Warns of Authoritarian Data Localization Trend
Friday April 26, 2019. 08:48 PM , from Slashdot
If free nations demand companies store data locally, it legitimizes that practice for authoritarian nations, which can then steal that data for their own nefarious purposes, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. From a report: He laid out the threat in a new 93-minute video of a discussion with Sapiens author Yuval Noah Harari released today as part of Zuckerberg's 2019 personal challenge of holding public talks on the future of tech. Zuckerberg has stated that Facebook will refuse to comply with laws and set up local data centers in authoritarian countries where that data could be snatched. Russia and China already have data localization laws, but privacy concerns and regulations proposals could see more nations adopt the restrictions.
Germany now requires telecommunications metadata to be stored locally, and India does something similar for payments data. While in democratic or justly ruled nations, the laws can help protect user privacy and give governments more leverage over tech companies, they pave the way for similar laws in nations where governments might use military might to see the data. That could help them enhance their surveillance capabilities, disrupt activism or hunt down dissidents.
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