Several Major Economies Launch New Cross-Border Privacy Agreement

April 26, 2022
Jurisdictions including the US, Japan and Singapore have established a cross-border forum to promote collaboration in data privacy.

Jurisdictions including the US, Japan and Singapore have established a cross-border forum to promote collaboration in data privacy.

Seven jurisdictions in Asia and North America that form part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) have declared a new covenant on data privacy, which they say will “promote interoperability and help bridge different regulatory approaches to data protection and privacy”.

The objectives of the Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) Forum is to establish an international certification system based on the APEC CBPR, as well as the Privacy Recognition for Processors (PRP) Systems.

This is intended to support the free flow of data and effective data protection and privacy through the promotion of the Global CBPR and PRP Systems, provide a forum for information exchange and cooperation on these matters, as well as periodically review data protection and privacy standards of members to ensure requirements align with best practices.

Another point agreed by the participating states is to promote interoperability with other data protection and privacy frameworks.

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for example, set a precedent for data rules globally, and although it made Europe a leader in data privacy regulation, it also resulted in challenges to trade with other jurisdictions.

For example, the EU-US data privacy shield was declared invalid by the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2020.

A new agreement has only recently been reached by the two jurisdictions — the Trans Atlantic Data Privacy Framework.

Across the US, states have gradually been implementing their own data protection regulations, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

New York also introduced the NY Privacy Act in 2021, which similar to the CCPA and the GDPR, obligates companies to disclose their methods of de-identifying personal data and install safeguards for personal data sharing, while empowering consumers with the right to know the details of the entities having access to their data.

Just the start

The Global CBPR Forum is expected to promote expansion and uptake of the Global CBPR and PRP Systems globally to facilitate data protection and free flow of data, and disseminate best practices for data protection, privacy and interoperability. It will also actively pursue interoperability with other jurisdictions.

Meanwhile, cooperation is intended to be based on the principle of mutual benefit and a commitment to open dialogue and consensus-building, with equal respect for the views of all members, as well as consultation and exchange of views among representatives of members.

The declaration advises that meetings between member states will be held at least biannually, with a view to deciding on the implementation of the CBPR and PRP systems in the near future.

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