Singapore has joined Japan, the Republic of Korea, Canada, the United States and Mexico as the sixth APEC economy to participate in the Cross-Border Privacy Rules System this week.
It is also the second APEC economy alongside the United States to participate in the Privacy Recognition for Processors System.
According to Singapore's Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), the country must manage and exchange data in a responsible way. As a result, open data flows in combination with data protection standards must be advocated.
Both systems require organisations to develop and implement data protection policies that align with the APEC Privacy Framework.
The Singapore Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) is currently developing a certification that will work in conjunction with the new systems.
Certified organisations will eventually be able to exchange personal data with other participating APEC countries in a seamless way with high standards of data protection.
PDPC is working on a certification scheme which would incorporate CBPR and PRP standards.
The APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) apply to data controllers, including organisations that control the collection, holding, processes or use of data.
The rules aim to bridge differing national privacy laws within APEC countries, reducing barriers to the flow of information for global trade.
The Privacy Recognition for Processors (PRP) system applies to data processors, including those organisations that process data on behalf of other organisations.
Both systems are designed to fit with the APEC Privacy Framework. That framework promotes eCommerce but also takes into account factors including the following:
Appropriate privacy protections for personal information; empowerment of privacy enforcement authorities that protect individual privacy; making organisations accountable for personal information under their control; the free flow of information to trade and to economic and social growth; and the uniform approach to data collection, access, use or processing that global organisations can use.
“Together, the CPBR and PRP systems establish a harmonised set of data protection standards across the Asia-Pacific, facilitating data transfers for certified organisations across participating economies,” MCI says in a statement.
Organisations can apply to be a certified practitioner of the CBPR and PRP systems once the Personal Data Protection Commission has completed development of its certification scheme. PDPC expections to launch the scheme by the end of 2018.