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User Privacy or Cyber Sovereignty?

This report examines the implications of data localization policies on users’ human rights. It begins by providing background on data regulation, including the various types of electronic data as well as how terms like “data localization,” “data protection,” and “data privacy” are commonly used. The report then outlines a robust framework for evaluating the impact of data localization laws on human rights, before launching into an analysis on legislation that has been passed or proposed in eight different countries. Understanding a law’s political and internet freedom context is vital for evaluating its human rights impact on members of civil society, marginalized communities, and the general population. The report concludes with an analysis of what this alarming trend means for the future of the free, open, and global internet.