Jakarta (ANTARA) - The APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system is increasing its accountability agents, who ascertain participating firms safeguard consumers’ personal information while fostering digital economy growth, to boost consumer confidence in e-commerce in the Pacific Rim.

Data protection has come under public glare, as online retail activity has steadily increased, rising over nine percent in 2017, the APEC E-Commerce Steering Group noted in its written statement received here on Friday.

Annually, consumers across APEC’s 21 economies purchased online some US$1 trillion in goods and services that is some half of the global e-commerce.

The Joint Oversight Panel of the APEC Electronic Commerce Steering Group has approved Schellman, a leading provider of attestation and compliance services, to join existing accountability agents TRUSTe and the Japan Institute for Promotion of Digital Economy and Community (JIPDEC).

By certifying that participating firms are applying privacy measures while handling personal data across borders, the agents support the CBPR in boosting trust in digital trade.

"The recent expansion of the CBPR System demonstrates the rising need for an effective mechanism to promote data privacy and to bridge different rules among member economies," Shannon Coe, chair of the APEC Electronic Commerce Steering Group, stated.

"Accountability agents are the key participants in the system and adding Schellman indicates the growing business demand for their services that will strengthen the functioning of the CBPR system," Coe explained.

In accordance with the CBPR system, companies willingly follow a set of commonly agreed rules on privacy based on the APEC Privacy Framework.

An accountability agent thereafter conducts an assessment of the companies and awards certification in the event of compliance. Only certified organizations may display a seal, trust-mark, or claim participation in the CBPR. Schellman will evaluate participating businesses based in the United States.

Along with developing consumer trust, the CBPR system helps businesses by promoting consistency with its baseline set of data privacy practices and by bridging differing domestic laws. Greater interoperability between diverse privacy regimes will help to encourage stronger digital trade.

Finalized in 2011, the CBPR presently has eight members: Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Singapore, and the United States. All APEC member economies have committed to participating in the system.

Reporter: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Editor: Sri Haryati
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