Data localisation refers to the technologies and policies aimed at ensuring localised data hosting and localised data routing instead of utilising offshore server and processing centres.

Data localisation is often suggested as a solution to global challenges stemming from the increasing dependence of societies on data and digital technologies, as well as the fear of an external actor leveraging this dependence for power political purposes. Data localisation does not, however, reduce key technological dependencies.

The goal of digital resilience should be to ensure the security and continuity of data and infrastructure software, and to secure access to critical digital services irrespective of their location. Instead of data localisation measures, international cooperation should be deepened and digital traffic should have overseeing systems similar to those that have been in place for land, air, and maritime traffic for decades.

EU member states would benefit greatly from the creation of a unified auditing and standardisation process within the European single market. At the same time, tighter ties with US digital service providers would improve digital resilience.

Research Fellow