Philippines backs interoperable data protection framework in APEC

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is supporting the establishment of an international certification system to promote the interoperability of data privacy frameworks, the National Privacy Commission (NPC).

In a statement yesterday, the NPC said the Philippines, along with other members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) System, declared the establishment of the Global CBPR Forum to foster interoperability among different regulatory approaches to data privacy and protection.

Among the objectives of the Global CBPR  Forum is to come up with an international certification system based on the APEC CBPR and Privacy Recognition for Processors (PRP) Systems.

APEC CBPR System is a government-backed data privacy certification which companies can join to show compliance with internationally recognized data privacy protection.

Through this system, certified companies and governments work together to ensure personal information that moves across borders is protected in accordance with standards prescribed by the system’s program requirements.

Meanwhile, the APEC PRP System is a certification designed for organizations who process data on behalf of clients.

Aside from an international certification system, the Global CBPR Forum will also serve as a platform for information exchange and cooperation on matters related to CBPR and PRP.

In addition, the forum will periodically review data protection and privacy standards of members to ensure these are aligned with best practices.

Privacy Commissioner John Henry Naga said the latest development shows the Philippines’ involvement in improving cross-border data flows and fostering innovation while promoting effective data protection and privacy.

He said cross-border data flows would greatly benefit from an interoperable privacy framework.

This is important as the acceleration of digitalization is leading to a rapid increase in the collection, use, and transfer of data across borders.

“The Global CBPR Forum’s goal of promoting worldwide expansion and uptake of the Global CBPR and PRP Systems is aligned with the NPC’s vision of upholding the right to privacy and data protection while ensuring free flow of information,” Naga said.

The Philippines became a member of the APEC CBPR System in March 2020.

Participating economies in the APEC CBPR System intend to transition the operations of the APEC CBPR and PRP Systems to the Global CBPR Forum, and plan to provide at least 30 days’ notice to accountability agents.

All approved accountability agents and certified companies will automatically be recognized in the new Global CBPR Forum.

The Global CBPR Forum is open to jurisdictions that accept its objectives and principles. – Rainier Allan Ronda


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