The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (“APEC”) recently approved an initiative to facilitate the transfer of data across the borders of APEC countries, which details recommendations for data privacy, protection, and enforcement. The APEC Cooperation Arrangement for Cross-Border Privacy Enforcement is voluntary, and does not create any obligation under the laws of the participating countries. The agreement aims to allow participating countries to establish mechanisms to effectively promote cross-border data transfer, including through referrals of matters and through parallel or joint investigations or enforcement actions in the event of a data or security breach. The Cooperation Agreement will become effective one month after APEC’s Electronic Commerce Steering Group appoints an Administrator, or at a later date if specified by the ECSG.
TIP: While non-binding, the agreement suggests that it may soon be easier for companies to share data across borders, by creating a more uniform standard by which countries that restrict such transfers may more uniformly allow them to occur.