2 million terabytes of data will flow from UK to EU, by 2030

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A Data Flow Visualisation Tool finds that 2,291,077 terabytes of non-personal data will flow to cloud facilities in Europe by 2030

The Visualisation tool looks at how non-personal data moves between countries, as a way for policy-makers and trade specialists to make decisions.

While the UK officially left the EU in early 2020, data relationships between both will continue to grow.

Non-personal data as the future of economic decision-making?

In 2030, 2,291,077 TB of non-personal data from the UK will be stored in cloud facilities, across the EU and some other States.

Digital transformation is one of the processes that many public sector organisations are attempting to navigate right now, their hand forced by the remote-working white-collar culture of COVID. The UK is slowly pushing an Online Harms Bill through parliament, while the EU has already adopted a draft bill of similar, more incisive legislation. The EU bill proposes genuine regulation for businesses that capitalise on personal data, such as Facebook and Instagram.

However, outside of the ethical paradoxes presented by personal data collection, general data is an intricate mass of information that continues to be important. This importance led to the creation of the EU strategy on data, which seeks to develop a common European data space, interconnecting cloud infrastructure, a cloud service marketplace for EU users and aiming for EU investments in new, relevant technologies.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how pivotal the data economy is”

The study on Mapping Data Flows, a report written by Luena Collini, Lison Rabuel, Malin Carlberg, Paul Foley, and Alexandra Gemmell, explores how data relationships could look in the next ten years.

They write: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how pivotal the data economy is and the importance of data-driven businesses and decision-making. Governments, enterprises and international organisations have been relying on data more than ever to tackle the challenges brought on by the pandemic (the need for digital channels to treat the demand of vaccines, testing and treatments, increased digital interactions due to teleworking).”

It appears that the flow of data – based not on personal information but on businesses buying cloud services – would increase 15.2 times from 2020 to 2030. By the end of the decade, it seems that there will be 7,669,835 terabytes of cloud data per month. In 2025, it will be 2,201,058 terabytes per month – 4.4 times more than what it was in 2020.

The accompanying report states that  “data has become a critical factor of production” – which is evident in trade and business decision-making across the world. From energy prices to healthcare systems, the use of cloud-space is a commonality that appears to be becoming even more pronounced.


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