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Commerce Secretary Bryson Applauds Completion of Cross Border Privacy Rules

Monday, November 14, 2011

U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson applauded the completion of the Cross Border Privacy Rules system, an outcome of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting in Hawaii, where the Rules were formally endorsed today. The voluntary rules will promote a baseline set of data privacy practices for companies doing business in participating APEC economies.  This is especially critical for companies doing business in the Asia Pacific region, with its impressive growth, dynamism and potential for expanded trade.

“This initiative is an important development in international data protection,” Bryson said. “The United States and its trading partners in APEC recognized the need for a data privacy framework that provides effective privacy protection for consumers while avoiding barriers to information flows.  Once implemented, this system will help establish region-wide privacy policy compatibility, which should lower regulatory compliance costs while increasing the export of U.S. services.” 

The United States and partnering APEC economies began development of this system in 2007 with the strong support of U.S. industry. The 21 member economies in APEC comprise a market of 2.7 billion consumers, account for 55 percent of global gross domestic product and 43 percent of total global trade.  In addition, APEC member economies purchase 58 percent of U.S. exports.  

Implementation of the Cross Border Privacy Rules system directly supports the President’s National Export Initiative by decreasing regulatory barriers to trade and commerce.  U.S. exporters face an increasing array of privacy regulations and domestic data storage requirements around the world.  When there regulations are incompatible, they create barriers to U.S. exports and costs for U.S. companies.  This system will help reduce those barriers, lower costs, and facilitate U.S. exports to the Asia Pacific region.  This work also supports the Administration's privacy and innovation goals by facilitating global privacy interoperability as outlined in the soon to be released White Paper on data privacy and innovation.