01.04.2013

Art. 29 WP: Data Transfer Systems Between Europe and the Asia-Pacific

Article 29 Working Party - Promoting Cooperation on Data Transfer Systems Between Europe and the Asia-Pacific

Representatives of the Article 29 Working Party (WP29), in which all EU data protection authorities are assembled, and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) recently met for the first time in Jakarta, Indonesia, to develop a set of tools to facilitate transfers of personal data, for multi-national companies that operate both in Europe and the Asia-Pacific.
In the European Union, Binding Corporate Rules (BCR) have been developed in order to govern international data transfers made by companies or groups of companies. These binding internal rules define a company’s policies on data transfers in order to ensure adequate safeguards for personal data transferred from the European Union to third countries.
In 2012, APEC Member Economies completed the development of the Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system for the protection of personal data throughout the Asia-Pacific. Like the BCR system, the CBPR system is designed to ensure that a company’s privacy policies meet established standards for the protection of personal information. Such policies must be validated by APEC-recognized Accountability Agents.

Both the EU BCR system and the CBPR system are based on a similar approach, which is the use of internal binding rules for cross-border transfers of personal data, subject to prior approval by EU Data Protection Authorities or by APEC-recognized Accountability Agents.
The WP29 recently concluded a study of the CBPR system in order to identify the similarities and differences with the BCR system. Using this initial comparison as a starting point, the WP29 and participating APEC Economies are cooperating to develop practical tools, including a common referential, for those multinational companies that have data collection and/or processing-related activities in both the European Union and APEC region.
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Source: Press releases (WP29; APEC)