Japan has become the third economy of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to be accepted into its cross-border privacy rules system, strengthening the protection of consumer data and lowering regulatory compliance costs for businesses in the region.

APEC Electronic Commerce Steering Group Chair Lourdes Yaptinchay said in a press briefing on May 1 that building the capacity of APEC economies to put the system into place is a priority area of collaboration in the bloc.

The system was created by regional officials and technical experts within the APEC Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG), in coordination with the private sector, and endorsed by regional leaders in Honolulu, the US, in 2011.

It requires firms in participating economies to develop their own internal business rules on cross-border data privacy procedures.

Entry into the system is determined by a joint oversight panel within the ECSG which examines applicants’ domestic laws and regulations, and their plans to enforce the system.

Japan’s approval follows that of the US, the first APEC economy to join the system in 2012, and Mexico which was accepted last year.-VNA