Analysis: Public Consultation in Saudi Arabia for Data Sovereignty

Key Takeaways

  • Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 integrates data governance, digital infrastructure, cloud adoption, and data sovereignty towards its national transformation objectives. 
  • The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority is seeking public input through three ongoing consultations. One focuses on data sovereignty and its four key principles for policy development while the other two involve data sharing. Companies are encouraged to participate in these consultations that shape future regulations. By closely monitoring evolving regulations, businesses can identify both market opportunities and potential operational impacts.
  • The Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority’s data sovereignty consultation reflects a growing trend in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to address escalating cyberattacks through data governance and regional cooperation. 
  • Saudi Arabia’s data governance strategy highlights data localization, similar to India and the European Union, whose approaches aim to protect citizen data, control digital assets, and boost the economy. Balancing national security and economic interests with the benefits of a free-flowing digital economy remains a challenge. 
  • There is a global shift towards ‘trusted data flows’ over strict data localization. Initiatives like the G7’s “Data Free Flow with Trust” framework promote interoperable data governance systems that respect privacy, security, and intellectual property. Saudi Arabia may consider these international developments while drafting its own data sovereignty policies. 


Read the full analysis below. 


About ASG

Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG), part of Dentons Global Advisors, is the premier global strategy and commercial diplomacy firm. As a multidisciplinary advisory firm, we help clients understand and successfully navigate the intersection of public, private, and social sectors in international markets. ASG's worldwide team has served clients in more than 120 countries. 

Our Middle East and North Africa Practice has extensive experience applying a systematic approach and a strong understanding of the region’s complex economic, political, and regulatory climates to help clients navigate markets, with our offices in Dubai and Riyadh serving as hubs for the firm's operations.

For additional information or to arrange a follow-up, please contact Tomas Valdes, Director, Middle East and North Africa practice.

ASG Analysis -- Public Consultation in Saudi Arabia for Data Sovereignty.pdf