APEC recently moved one step closer towards the goal of updating its privacy framework in time to mark the 10th anniversary of the framework’s adoption in 2005.
Last month at a meeting in Subic Bay, the Philippines, APEC’s Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG) endorsed an ECSG Data Privacy Subgroup (DPS) plan to concentrate on updating the framework in six priority areas. The work is part of a DPS privacy ‘stocktake’ project.
In light of the role of the 1980 OECD Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Trans-border Flows of Personal Data, it was agreed that the stocktake should be based on the 2013 Guidelines. The importance of these guidelines cannot be overstated as they are the foundation and starting point for the APEC Privacy Framework.
One major path to advance the stocktake was for a comparative review of the changes to the OECD guidelines and their likely impact on the APEC framework. The New Zealand Office of the Privacy Commissioner undertook this review as part of an Australia, Canada and New Zealand stocktake group.
Six priority areas
The review recommended that concrete proposals for updating the APEC Privacy Framework be concentrated in six areas. These are by:
In developing the proposals, the stocktake group kept a number of factors in mind such as:
The stocktake group received a mandate to continue with its work and to develop more concrete updating proposals. The group working on the stocktake has been enlarged and now consists of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United States and two guests of APEC’s Electronic Commerce Steering Group - the International Chamber of Commerce and the Internet Society.
The group will report back to APEC’s Data Privacy Subgroup in August 2015.