TPP and Privacy Concerns

Cybersecurity concerns have been integrated into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement among twelve Pacific Rim countries. The TPP released the full text of the international agreement on November 5, 2015. The agreement addresses privacy concerns over the protection of personal information. Article 14.8 of the Agreement describes the parties’ obligations to protect personal information. Specifically, Article 14.8.2 of the Agreement obligates parties to “adopt or maintain a legal framework that provides for the protection of the personal information of the users of electronic commerce.” Article 14.8.5 recognizes that each party may take different approaches to protecting individual privacy information, but states that each party “should encourage the development of mechanisms to promote compatibility between these different regimes.” Article 14.13 prohibits laws that require data localization; member countries cannot require companies to keep data on servers in the country as a condition for conducting business in that country.

If ratified in the U.S., unrestricted access to cross-border transfers will be further cemented. The agreement is expected to come before Congress for a vote in 2016. Congress will be able to vote on signing onto the agreement but will not be able to pass amendments.

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