What happens in places where states are not currently able to regulate the developing use of ‘data’? How do the policies and frameworks instituted by actors in the UK, US and EU also impact upon these places? Linnet Taylor’s reading of data in wider global frames surfaces questions such as these, but also invites a re-examination of how regulatory authority is exercised both within and across borders. Iain Bourne voiced a recognition of the different frameworks in place globally, but at the same time made a case that there is much agreement around the basic principles of data protection. In places where newer technologies are leapfrogging older technological infrastructures (most notably mobile telephony), regulation is evolving differently and without the legacy of older systems. There is a risk that in supplying services to populations the social contract will be negotiated between citizens and corporations, relatively unmediated by the state. A result might be two systems in the same area but with different emphases: one that recognises conceptions of rights and privacy as solid and enforceable and a more flexible system with the private sector that values the local convenience, or the need for a transactional system over privacy.
In light of the innovations in data technology, is there a way to tease out the basic principles for concepts like data protection, openness, etc. but at the same time allow regulation to evolve around these and other local specificities? What tensions are surfaced when unregulated (often prohibited) transactions and forms of participation take on legitimacy and openly compete with regulated systems? Are there ways to work productively with these tensions?