Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leads new initiative for privacy cooperation

July 17, 2010

A new initiative launched Friday by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) aims to boost consumer trust in e-commerce in the Asia-Pacific region. It will do this by providing a platform for the enforcement of data privacy laws through cross-border cooperation.

The APEC Cross-border Privacy Enforcement Arrangement (CPEA) establishes a framework under which participating authorities may contact each other for assistance in collecting evidence and sharing information on an organization or matter under investigation. Privacy authorities can also liaise with one another in the area of enforcing actions and transferring complaints to another jurisdiction, according to a statement from the APEC Secretariat based in Singapore.

The arrangement was developed by a volunteer group of APEC member economies comprising Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Taiwan and the United States, with input from civic and business groups. There are currently just three CPEA participants–the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Australia; the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of New Zealand; and the United States Federal Trade Commission.

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