On April 30, 2014, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) announced that Japan received approval to participate in APEC’s Cross-Border Privacy Rules. APEC’s Cross-Border Privacy Rules were adopted in 2004 and are somewhat similar to the European Union’s Binding Corporate Rules framework. The Rules allow companies to adopt and comply with internal data privacy rules, including with respect to cross-border transfers of data. The Rules also provide for governmental oversight by accountability; in the U.S., the FTC is the enforcement authority.

TIP: Often times, companies are not aware of the fact that they are routinely transferring data across borders. It is important for companies to consider a framework for handling these transfers from a privacy compliance perspective. The APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules are an option to help in this regard.