On July 23, 2019, APEC issued a press release announcing Singapore’s appointment of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) as its accountability agent. Singapore joined the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system in March 2018 and is the third economy after the United States and Japan to operationalize the system.

The APEC CBPR is a regional, multilateral, cross-border data transfer mechanism and enforceable code of conduct developed for businesses by the 21 APEC member countries. As we have reported on previously, the CBPR system is meant to help companies transfer personal data across the borders of participating countries. Companies join by completing self-assessments and participating with an “accountability agent.” As Singapore’s accountability agent, IMDA will ensure the privacy policies and practices of participating companies comply with the APEC CBPR and Privacy Recognition for Processors (PRP) through independent third-party assessments before certifying them. Currently, the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Singapore and Chinese Taipei participate in the CBPR system

Putting it Into Practice. We will continue to monitor the CBPR. As more countries fully participate, the CBPR system shows its growing viability as a cross-border data transfer scheme.