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Data sovereignty

(also information sovereignty)

Data sovereignty definition

Data sovereignty, also known as information sovereignty, refers to the concept that digital data is subject to the laws and governance structures within the nation where it is collected or stored. It stipulates that data is bound by the laws of the country in which it is located, which affects its accessibility, privacy regulations, and surveillance possibilities.

See also: personal VPN, data protection policy, end-to-end encryption

Data sovereignty examples

  • Global enterprises: Companies with a worldwide presence must navigate data sovereignty to ensure they are compliant with the laws in each country where they store customer data.
  • Cloud storage: Cloud service providers must often maintain data centers in different countries to adhere to data sovereignty regulations.

Pros and cons of data sovereignty


  • Increased privacy: Countries with strict data sovereignty laws often have enhanced privacy protections for their citizens.
  • Control: It allows a country to control how data within its borders is managed and used.


  • Complexity: Businesses operating across borders may find data sovereignty laws complex and challenging to navigate.
  • Data localization: The requirement to store data within a country's borders may lead to increased costs and reduced efficiency for businesses.

Using data sovereignty

  • Know the laws: If you are a business operating internationally, understand the data sovereignty laws in all the countries where you operate.
  • Secure storage: Use encrypted cloud storage services that respect data sovereignty laws.