United States Joins the APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules System

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On June 26, 2012 the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the United States' participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Cross-Border Privacy Rules ("CBPR") System. The United States is the first non-Asian Pacific country to join the organization. Now, businesses in the United States may voluntarily comply with the CBPR Systemand engage in data sharing with Member Economies in APEC, without additional data privacy protection hurdles. The CBPR System is entirely voluntary and does not affect Federal or State laws; thus, organizations in the United States must still comply with relevant Federal and State statutes. The CBPR System, rather, supplements data privacy protections for organizations in the United States that do business in or share information with APEC member economies.

On July 26, 2012, Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank stated that "This system will enable participating companies in the United States and other APEC member economies to more efficiently exchange data in a secure manner and will enhance consumer data privacy by establishing a consistent level of protection and accountability in the APEC region."

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