The National Development Council (‘NDC’) announced, on 10 December 2018, that Taiwan had become the seventh member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Cross Border Privacy Rules (‘APEC CBPR’) system, following notification from the APEC Secretariat. In particular, the NDC highlighted that the APEC CBPR system aims to facilitate the international transfer of cross-border data, promote e-commerce and digital trade, as well as assist Taiwanese enterprises seeking business opportunities overseas.
Ken-Ying Tseng, Partner at Lee and Li, Attorneys-at-Law, told DataGuidance, ”For at least half a century, Taiwan has been an ‘export-oriented’ economy. In order to facilitate future economic development, the establishment of a solid privacy and personal data protection foundation [to enable] Taiwan to be competitive in the international market, is a very important task for the Government. Being recognised as a member of the APEC CBPR system means that Taiwan’s regulatory framework has met internationally recognised standards, which certainly enhances the image of Taiwanese businesses and promotes worldwide consumer trust in Taiwanese products and services.”
Joining the APEC CBPR system is viewed as a transitional step towards meeting the higher requirements of the GDPR
Furthermore, the NDC highlighted that when compared to the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (‘GDPR’), the APEC CBPR system has a lower level of privacy protection. As a result, the NDC noted that through participation in the APEC CBPR system, Taiwanese businesses and organisations, which are mostly small and medium-sized enterprises, will be able to establish their data protection systems gradually.
Michael Fahey, Associate at Winkler Partners, told DataGuidance, ”Joining the APEC CBPR system is viewed as a transitional step towards meeting the higher requirements of the GDPR. The next step for the NDC will be to assist the Government in designating at least one legal person to act as an Accountability Agent for the APEC CBPR system, while also continuing its preparations in seeking an adequacy decision from the European Commission.”
ANGELA POTTER Privacy Analyst