German Chancellor Angela Merkel “has embraced proposals to create European data networks that would keep emails and other communications on the European side of the Atlantic, farther from prying American eyes” as reported in the New York Times.  Chancellor Merkel also stated that ‘that companies like Google and Facebook base their European data operations in countries she did not name “where data protection is weakest.”’

“Data localization” is the label which describes what Chancellor Merkel is proposing.

In the simplest of terms, data localization laws would require that businesses that operate on the Internet — including Internet service providers, companies with data operations, and cloud services that control and maintain digital data for business and individuals, including redundant backups — store that data within the country where the businesses are located, rather than on servers in other countries.