The Jakarta Post
Tech giants Google and Facebook are considering setting up data centers in Indonesia, Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate has said.
He told journalists about the matter after accompanying President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in a meeting with delegates from the United States-ASEAN Business Council at Merdeka Palace on Thursday.
“Google and Facebook already have plans to build data centers here,” Johnny said.
The minister stopped short of disclosing details of the plan but said issues related to data privacy and data protection should be made clear before such sites were constructed in the country.
He said there should be protocols ─ based upon reciprocity ─ regarding the flow of data both within a country’s territory as well as cross-border movement. However, the United Nations has yet to set such standard, he added.
“Thus we need to discuss this first […] such as whether the free flow data movement will be conducted based on trust or if there will be a standard agreed to by the involved parties,” Johnny said.
There should also be discussion between the two tech giants about where the data centers would be set up, he added.
The government is preparing a personal data protection bill, which Johnny said would be deliberated and passed into law next year.
Johnny could not say when the plan would be realized. “Ask [Google and Facebook], don’t ask me,” he said, adding that investment from the two digital giants would be great for the country.
Jakarta recently issued Government Regulation (PP) No. 71/2019 on the implementation of electronic systems and transactions, which stipulates that all digital companies ─ both foreign or homegrown ─ must set up integrated data centers in Indonesia.
Google and Facebook own and operate dozens of data centers, with most of the facilities located within the US, while the others are spread in other places, including Singapore in Asia and Ireland in Europe. (hol)