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Toward a Global Approach to Data in the Digital Age

Ongoing economic and financial digitalization is making individual data a key input and source of value for companies across sectors, from Big Tech and pharmaceuticals to manufacturers and financial services providers. Data on human behavior and choices—our “likes,” purchase patterns, locations, social activities, biometrics, and financing choices—are being generated, collected, stored, and processed at an unprecedented scale. The use of individual data and digital innovation can power productivity; increase access to finance; and promote trade, including of digital services, to the benefit of all. This Staff Discussion Note from the IMF argues that the rules and regulations governing access to this individual data are emerging as a new pillar of structural policies that matter for growth, equity, and financial stability.

International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 189 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world. Created in 1945, the IMF is governed by and accountable to the 189 countries that make up its near-global membership. The IMF's primary purpose is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system—the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to transact with each other. The Fund's mandate was updated in 2012 to include all macroeconomic and financial sector issues that bear on global stability.