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Mexico Participates In APEC Cross-Border Privacy System

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

17 January 2013

Mexico has become the second participant, after the United States, in the Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), boosting efforts to protect consumers in the region and their privacy in electronic commerce.

The announcement was made by the APEC Electronic Commerce Steering Group which oversees the administration of the CBPR system. "As electronic commerce develops as a pillar of economic growth in the Asia-Pacific, it is critical that it is supported by a regulatory infrastructure that both ensures the practical interests of businesses and protects consumer rights," said the Group's Chair Lourdes Yaptinchay.

"Mexico has been central to the design and engineering of the CBPR system," she added, "and is now taking the next step in advancing its implementation within APEC."

The voluntary, certification-based system promotes a consistent baseline set of data privacy practices for companies doing business in participating APEC member economies. The goal is to enhance e-commerce, open markets and thereby facilitate trade and economic growth by strengthening consumer privacy protections in the region. The system also promotes region-wide privacy policy compatibility and lower regulatory compliance costs throughout the Asia-Pacific.

"APEC member economies continue to work closely with one another to expand the implementation of the CBPR System and more effectively harness the potential of the e-commerce sector in a market of nearly 3bn consumers who are increasingly turning to online platforms to purchase goods and services," Yaptinchay confirmed.

In APEC's 21 member economies, which account for 55% of global gross domestic product and 44% of world trade, 1.24bn people or 45% of the population were internet users in 2011, according to key indicators database StatsAPEC. This is up from 327m people or 12.7% of the region's population in 2001. In Mexico, the number of internet users has increased more than five times during the same ten year period, jumping from 7% in 2001 to 36.2% in 2011.

APEC Economic Leaders endorsed the CBPR System when they met in Honolulu in November 2011. Mexico’s participation in it follows the US, which joined in July 2012.

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