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UK and USA seek new world order for cross-border data sharing and privacy

They'll even run a competition to help this along

Officials from the USA and UK have signaled an intention to together shape a new world order for data sharing across borders.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, met with US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to hold discussions on cross border data flows, supply chains and tariffs.

A joint statement released by Raimondo and Dorries on Wednesday said the two nations re-committed to “promoting the trustworthy use and exchange of data across borders” and plan to collaborate on the design and creation of next-gen tools that shape new global norms on data use.

The two nations want a regime that "promotes and advances interoperability between different data protection frameworks, facilitating cross-border data flows while maintaining high standards of data protection and trust."

The pair would also like to work with “like-minded partners” and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), to build trust in the ways their governments access public safety, national security and law enforcement related information.

Both parties acknowledged the challenges associated with working across jurisdictions.

Dorries later announced that the UK and the US were partnering on a challenge designed to overcome technical and adoption challenges related to privacy-enhancing technology (PET)s.

“Of all the democracy-affirming technologies, we’re particularly interested in ones that can help us use personal or sensitive data responsibly,” said Dorries in a speech for the Summit for Democracy.

In her speech, Dorries drew parallels between the Summit for Democracy - an event the Biden administration convened this week - and the Future Tech Forum hosted less than two weeks prior, where the UK secretary signed three digital trade-related memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Singapore. During the Future Tech Forum, Dorries also extolled the virtues of the UK's new Digital Trade Network (DTN), a three-year pilot programme designed to support UK business wanting to grow digitally into Asia-Pacific.

While Dorries focused on data flow and digital trade agreements, it wasn’t the only thing on the agenda. Raimondo and Trevelyan focused their efforts on steel and aluminium, its global excess capacity and concerns related to U.S. tariffs and UK countermeasures.

The pair also nodded their heads enthusiastically about cooperating on clean technology for decarbonization, although no action items were revealed, to the public at least. ®

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