Source: US International Trade Administration
Michael Rose works in ITA’s Office of Digital Services Industries
On May 31, 2019, Schellman & Company, LLC of Tampa, Florida became the second U.S. Accountability Agent under the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) System.
Schellman joins TRUSTe, which was approved in 2013, in offering services to independently assess and certify U.S. companies’ compliance with CBPR program requirements. Schellman’s participation provides businesses operating in the Asia-Pacific region with greater access to data privacy certification services to facilitate cross-border data flows while promoting data privacy.
“We have heard the call from U.S. industry for more Accountability Agents in the United States to promote greater options and more competitive pricing for the growing variety of companies seeking the benefits of a CBPR certification,” said Jim Sullivan, who performs the duties of the International Trade Administration’s Assistant Secretary for Industry & Analysis. “We are pleased that Schellman & Company answered the calland look forward to expanding U.S. participation in the CBPR certification system.”
The APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules System
The APEC CBPR System is a data privacy certification mechanism. It was developed and endorsed by the 21 APEC Member Economies after a multi-year, multi-stakeholder process.
To participate in the CBPR System, individual Member Economies must meet certain requirements—such as having at least one Privacy Enforcement Authority that is able to enforce the CBPR requirements against businesses and at least one Accountability Agent.
Businesses that choose to participate in the CBPR System must submit their privacy practices and policies for evaluation by an APEC-recognized Accountability Agent to assess compliance with the CBPR program. Upon certification, the practices and policies will become binding on that organization and enforceable through the relevant privacy enforcement authority.
The CBPR System also promotes regional cooperation in the enforcement of privacy laws through a unique enforcement arrangement consisting of data protection authorities across the region.
Over the last two years, the CBPR has achieved a critical mass of APEC Member Economies. The System is now recognized by most of the United States’ top ten international trading partners. To date, eight APEC Economies have joined the CBPR System—the United States, Mexico, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Australia, and Chinese Taipei. The Philippines is currently in the process of joining the System.
Participation in the CBPR System affords these Economies greater opportunities for harmonization, coordination, and cooperation on privacy and data protection issues.