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Korea joins APEC’s data protection programme

Update: June, 27/2017 - 18:00
The Cross Border Privacy Rules System: Promoting consumer privacy and economic growth across the APEC region. — Photo
Viet Nam News

SEOUL – Korea has become a member of the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules System, strengthening the growth potential of the e-commerce sector, and protection of sensitive consumer data used in online transactions.

A press release issued on Tuesday said the integration of Korea’s privacy laws with the system – a voluntary, accountability-based scheme that facilitates data flow among participating APEC economies – will help safeguard personal and corporate information from unauthorised disclosures and fraud. Korea is the system’s fifth participant, joining Canada, Japan, Mexico and the United States.

Retail consumers in the Asia-Pacific region alone purchase around US$1 trillion worth of goods and services online annually, accounting for over half of global spend, and its growth is surging. In Korea, mobile-based retail sales jumped 42 per cent year on year in 2016, according to Nielsen.

E-commerce is opening up vast digital trade opportunities, and underscores the importance of robust protection for sensitive data such as identity numbers, bank account and credit card information, medical records, travel documents, and email and instant message content, among others.

“Korea’s entry into the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules System is a major boost to e-commerce development and its capacity to securely drive entrepreneurship and trade in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Shannon Coe, chair of the APEC Electronic Commerce Steering Group, which administers the initiative.

Under the system, privacy policies and practices of companies operating in the participating APEC economies follow a set of commonly agreed rules based on the APEC Privacy Framework. Such companies are assessed and certified by a third-party verifier, known as an Accountability Agent.

“As e-commerce expands opportunities for businesses big and small, it is imperative that we deploy policies that enable transfer of data necessary for them to capitalise on,” Coe said. “Korea’s inclusion in the APEC Cross-Border Privacy System helps to do just that, and paves the way for its continued expansion in the region to amplify the benefits.”

E-commerce officials will evaluate the development of the APEC Cross-Border Privacy System and measures for taking it forward when they convene in HCM City in August. — VNS

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