Understanding the Value of Transatlantic Data Flows

A new research report by economists from Analysis Group, an economic, financial and strategy consultancy, projects the widespread impact if transatlantic transfers of personal data were no longer possible. According to this study, changes to free flow of data could cause significant harm to telecommunications, digital payments, global services outsourcing and pharmaceutical R&D industries.

It should be noted that the precise impacts of the Schrems II decision are uncertain, and this study does not express views of the authors or of Facebook about the correct interpretation of the judgment, or its likely implications.

The report was commissioned by Facebook, as part of our effort to understand the possible implications if transatlantic transfers of personal data could no longer be conducted. In this report, the authors examine those four industries, and use their findings to illustrate the substantial damage to the EU economy and consumers that may arise if transfers of personal data outside of the EU were no longer possible. 

Based on the estimates of the Analysis Group economists, European businesses and consumers in each of these industries may incur several billions dollars of additional annual costs. However, the case studies described in this report serve only as examples of the types and magnitudes of the impact of a hypothetical policy that restricts the transfer of personal data to third countries. The true impact on the European economy and consumers may be substantially larger.

The exchange of data is an increasingly important driver of the global economy — with cross-border data transfers, particularly between the EU and the US, at the centre of this growth.

We welcome the opportunity to use this report to start a conversation about the importance of transatlantic and cross-border flows of data, and will continue to engage with other companies, policy experts and legislators in both the US and EU on this important issue. 

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