Data Transformation/Data Sovereignty with Dale Waterman


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Tom’s guest in this episode of Innovation In Compliance is Dale Waterman, who popularized the phrase “data sovereignty” in the compliance space. The sovereignty of data, or data sovereignty, is the idea that the laws of the country where the organization is based still apply to the data regardless of where it moves across borders. He explains that both cloud computing and the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies like AI and IoT drove the data sovereignty movement.

Dale Waterman is a Managing Director of Breakwater Solutions, a consulting firm with a focus on global data privacy, cybersecurity, information governance, and investigations. He is passionate about helping organizations implement digital transformation objectives by assessing and managing legal, regulatory, and compliance challenges. He helps organizations collect, use, manage and protect personal data in a pragmatic and compliant manner that enables data-driven business strategies.

Here are some key points Tom and Dale talk about:

  • Dale talks about his professional background and his role at Breakwater Solutions.
  • Dale defines data sovereignty, localization, and the impact on global data privacy and cybersecurity.
  • Dale and Tom discuss and compare how data sovereignty issues and privacy laws are viewed in MENA (Middle East, North Africa) as opposed to Europe and the United States.
  • Most of the problems with data sovereignty stem from mistrust of big tech and concerns about government access to data, specifically with the US government, Dale tells Tom.
  • To help organizations comply with ever-changing data sovereignty laws, Dale suggests that companies get to know data and laws, classification, data minimization, and management of third parties.
  • Dale highlights some key challenges your clients may face in the Middle East and North Africa in 2023.
  • Dale describes how Breakwater Solutions helps clients tackle issues like data sovereignty, cross-border data transfers, and evolving data protection laws.


“The sovereignty of data refers to the fact that no matter where the data moves across borders, ... you still apply the laws of the country where the organization is based.” - Dale Waterman


Dale Waterman | LinkedIn | Breakwater Solutions

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