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May 26 2016

How to Align APEC and EU Cross-Border Transfer Rules

For most organizations, the ability to transfer data across national borders is a self-evident business imperative. Companies engaged in international commerce must export data to affiliates, business partners, service providers, customers or employees for a variety of purposes. New technologies, in turn, have emerged to help address this business need. Just as business practices have evolved, legal frameworks regulating the processing of data have moved on as well. One multinational pharmaceutical company, Merck & Co. Inc., has implemented a data transfer compliance strategy that complies with the rules in both the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation region and the EU. Aligning requirements across, and not just within, the different regions would represent a watershed moment and be a welcome development for industry. Once achieved, businesses potentially would be in a position to apply a single set of internal policies and procedures to regulate their data transfers.