Briefing paper

As explained in the CIGI paper Standards for Digital Cooperation (Girard 2020), the international community needs data standards. Interoperability standards are essential to create data value chains that string together data collection through collaborative platforms in order to generate insights and solve long-standing problems. Organisations of all sizes, whether public, private or not for profit, also need a suite of data governance standards to manage issues such as data ownership and use, security, residency, privacy and the protection of fundamental rights. Data standards are therefore needed for both operations and governance.

Key points:

  • There is no consensus to create a global framework for managing data governance under the United Nations.
  • A Data Standards Task Force (DSTF) is needed to create a single data zone where trustworthy data could circulate freely between like-minded countries.
  • This proposal is aligned with the objectives of fora such as the International Grand Committee on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy (IGC).
  • Canada could also spearhead the launch of the DSTF with like-minded countries through the implementation of regional free trade agreements such as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) or the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for TransPacific Partnership (CPTPP).
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CIGI Policy Brief No. 162