November 18, 2016

WASHINGTON – As Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum meet this weekend in Lima, Peru, eight major business groups representing hundreds of businesses around the world released a joint statement today calling on all 21 APEC member economies to demonstrate their commitment to facilitating the cross-border flow of information, while ensuring that personal information travelling across the Asia-Pacific region is afforded a high level of privacy protection. The business groups say expanding the APEC data-sharing system, known as the Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPRs), to all APEC members and more companies could help establish high privacy protection norms across the region, without interrupting or threatening the flows of data that fuel economic growth.

In their statement, the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), Japan Electronics and Information Technologies Industry Association (JEITA), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB), Japanese Business Federation (Keidanren), Japan Information Technology Services Industry Association (JISA), Asociación Latinoamericana de Internet (ALAI), and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – Mexico called on APEC member economies to commit to joining the CBPR system by a trade ministerial meeting to be held in Vietnam in 2017.

Click here for the full statement, text of which is included below:

Global Industry Calls for Timely and Ambitious Expansion of Participation
in the APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules System

Industry associations representing companies from around the world strongly support the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum’s work to expand business and economy participation in APEC’s Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPRs).

The CBPRs are based on the internationally respected APEC Privacy Framework and endorsed by APEC Leaders since 2011. They are an interoperable, enforceable, and high-standard privacy code of conduct that facilitates cross-border trade of goods and services and ensures that strong privacy protection will follow personal information across the Asia-Pacific region. By creating a certification system that bridges the privacy regimes of each participating economy in a cost-effective and scalable way, the CBPRs allow participating companies to focus their time and resources on innovating, serving customers, and pursuing their business objectives.

We applaud the support that APEC Leaders and Ministers have demonstrated towards expanding participation in the CBPRs. We believe this reaffirms both APEC’s recognition of the importance of data flows to trade and investment in the region and its commitment to building bridges between national privacy regulatory regimes.

The CBPRs signal to governments in the Asia-Pacific and in other parts of the world that mutual cooperation between like-minded economies can serve as a rational, effective international approach to high-standard privacy and data protection, without requiring data to be stored, managed, or otherwise processed locally or prohibiting data transfers to other markets. We see great potential for the CBPRs to serve as a platform for a truly global system of interoperable and robust privacy protection.

We call on all APEC member economies to commit to joining the CBPR system by the next Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting in 2017 in Vietnam. We will work with APEC member economies to support these commitments and raise awareness with officials and stakeholders on the benefits of CBPRs. We will do our part to improve the CBPRs to increase participation and help APEC economies set the standard for how to do privacy right globally.

The associations represented by this statement include:

Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)

Japan Electronics and Information Technologies Industry Association (JEITA)
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB)
Keidanren Japan Business Federation
Japan Information Technology Services Industry Association (JISA)
Asociación Latinoamericana de Internet (ALAI)
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) - Mexico

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Public Policy Tags: Data & Privacy, Trade & Investment