Emerging economies developing privacy laws are confronted with two challenges: how best to protect the privacy interests of local citizens and how to put in place privacy governance that assures companies and individuals outside the economy that information that flows into the region is properly protected and secured. The APEC Privacy Framework provides sound guidance for drafters engaged in this effort. By recognizing that privacy reflects the mores and values of local culture, it provides an approach to privacy protection that can be adapted to reflect the needs of local citizens within a widely recognized and adopted architecture. At the same time, it sets out requirements for strong security, compliance with rules governing the use and management of data and cross-border cooperation for dispute resolution and enforcement.

Last month, the Centre for Information Policy Leadership participated in a workshop convened by drafters of a proposed law to govern information privacy in the Philippines. The workshop focused on the APEC approach to data protection, the needs of companies interested in the Philippines as a business process outsourcing destination, and the relative merits and consequences (intended and otherwise) of specific provisions in the proposed law. The drafters and legislators will revisit their work and solicit additional input, looking toward passage of a law by the end of 2009.

The Centre will participate in a similar workshop to be convened in Vietnam later this year.