APEC and North American countries establish cross-border privacy rules

Enabling trusted and secure data flows.

Singapore has welcomed the establishment of the Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CPBR) Forum and the invitation to join as a founding member.

Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, and the United States of America, are current economies participating in the APEC CBPR System.

Internet traffic continues to grow strongly as more activities take place digitally, underpinned by the movement of data across borders. The Global CBPR Forum will enable trusted and secure data flows, help businesses reach wider markets and gain tangible benefits from digital trade, as well as facilitate research and innovation.

According to IMDA this was also why Singapore joined the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CBPR and Privacy Recognition for Processors (PRP) Systems (the APEC Systems)3, formed in 2011 to establish a harmonised data protection standard across the Asia-Pacific to facilitate data transfers among organisations in participating APEC economies.

The Global CBPR Forum will build on the APEC Systems and enhance interoperability between different data protection and privacy frameworks. It will enable certified organisations to transfer data seamlessly across borders to more economies, including non-APEC jurisdictions, while applying the same high standards of data protection and privacy as the APEC Systems.

  • The Forum recognises that growing Internet connectivity and the digitisation of the global economy have resulted in the rapid increase in the collection, use, and transfer of data across borders, a trend that continues to accelerate:
  • Conscious that trusted cross-border data flows are indispensable—not just for big, multinational technology companies, but for companies across all sectors of the economy, and for micro, small- and medium-sized businesses, workers, and consumers as well
  • Believing that cross-border data flows increase living standards, create jobs, connect people in meaningful ways, facilitate vital research and development in support of public health, foster innovation, and entrepreneurship, and allow for greater international engagement
  • Acknowledging that regulatory barriers threaten to undermine opportunities created by the digital economy at a time when companies are relying increasingly on digital technologies and innovations to continue business operations and recover economically
  • Recognising the importance of strong and effective data protection and privacy in strengthening consumer and business trust in digital transactions
  • Acknowledging the important contribution made by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in developing the APEC CBPR System to foster cross border data flows and interoperability.

Singapore will continue to work with all partners in both the APEC Systems and the Global CBPR Forum. As Singapore’s Accountability Agent, IMDA will continue to work closely with our certified organisations to onboard them to the Global CBPR Forum.



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