On May 4, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission issued a press release announcing its recent settlement with the hand-held vaporizers manufacturer, Very Incognito Technologies, Inc. (“Vipvape”). The FTC had charged Vipvape with falsely claiming that it was a certified company under the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (“APEC”) Cross-Border Privacy Rules (“CBPR”) framework. The settlement prohibits Vipvape from misleading consumers about its participation in any privacy and security certification program, including the APEC CBPR framework. This is the first CBPR-related case taken up by the FTC.

The APEC CBPR framework is a regional, multilateral, cross-border data transfer mechanism and enforceable privacy code of conduct developed for businesses by the 21 APEC member economies. The CBPRs implement the nine high-level APEC Privacy Principles set forth in the APEC Privacy Framework. Currently, the U.S., Mexico, Canada and Japan are participants in the APEC CBPR framework. Other APEC economies are in the process of determining how and when they may join.