Google, Facebook to set up data centres in Indonesia

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) Google and Facebook have plans to build data centres in Indonesia, said the country’s Communications and Information Minister Johnny G Plate.

He told journalists about the matter after accompanying Indonesia’s President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo in a meeting with delegates from the United States (US)-ASEAN Business Council at Merdeka Palace last Thursday.

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 (UN) 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 centres 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 realised. “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 centres in Indonesia.

Google and Facebook own and operate dozens of data centres, 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.