The merger of computer and communications technologies in the past two decades has revolutionized information processing throughout the world. The most recent telecommunications advances possible direct international transfers of sensitive personal data via computer-satellite links. Computerized data bases containing commercial information identifying citizens of one country are now routinely transferred to and stored in another, often without the knowledge of the individuals identified in the data. Numerous European countries have enacted data protection legislation with the avowed intent to protect their citizens from the improper use of personal information that is transferred extranationally. These data protection laws prohibit the export of such information under certain specified conditions.
Garry S. Grossman,
Transborder Data Flow: Separating the Privacy Interests of Individuals and Corporations,
Nw. J. Int'l L. & Bus.