Webinar: The Sedona Conference Commentary and Principles on Jurisdictional Conflicts over Transfers of Personal Data Across Borders, Public Comment Version

Date: Wednesday 31 July 2019

12:00 noon UTC 
10:00 p.m.
Hong Kong
8:00 p.m.
5:30 p.m.
2:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m.
New York
8:00 a.m.
Los Angeles
5:00 a.m.

Duration: 90 minutes

Multinational businesses today must navigate a bewildering maze of conflicting and confusing data protection and privacy laws, restricting and in some cases preventing the flow of information across international borders. This situation is not entirely new: Many years ago, the free flow of goods across the high seas faced similar constraints. Nations met and resolved the most crucial issues in that area, resulting in international conventions. Last month, The Sedona Conference published The Sedona Conference Commentary and Principles on Jurisdictional Conflicts over Transfers of Personal Data Across Borders. We hope the Commentary will contribute in some small way to the dialogue that is beginning to take shape addressing the regulation of cross-border data transfers, and that sooner, rather than later, there will be an International Conference that will ultimately resolve the conflicts between international data protection regimens to the extent they impede commerce.

The goals of the Commentary are to provide: (1) a practical guide to corporations and others who must make day-to-day operational decisions regarding the transfer of data across border, particularly in the context of litigation or regulatory investigations, where options are limited; and (2) to provide a framework for decision-makers – whether courts or regulators – who must make post hoc judgments about the legality of business decisions made in this environment. The Commentary explores the underlying tensions currently in the law and proposes six key principles of choice-of-law with respect to personal data. It explores the role of comity analysis as a bulwark against chaos and how comity should be applied in this context; and when comity cannot be the answer, how conflicts should be resolved.

The Commentary, which may be downloaded here, is open for public comment through 10 August 2019. Several members of the drafting team, representing diverse professional and geographic perspectives, will participate in a public webinar on Wednesday 31 July 2019 to explain the Commentary, answer your questions, and address your comments. The webinar will be “live” for those who can attend at the scheduled time, but due to the world-wide interest in this project, it will be recorded and made available for registered attendees to view at their convenience, and comments may be submitted at any time through 10 August to [email protected].


Kenneth J. Withers
The Sedona Conference
Phoenix, AZ, USA



Purchase, NY, USA


Information Governance ANZ

Sydney, Australia

Kellerhals Carrard

Basel, Switzerland

Littler Mendelson P.C.

Minneapolis, MN, USA

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Cleveland, OH, USA

Redgrave LLP

Chantilly, VA, USA