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Advancing its mission to protect consumers’ privacy as their data moves across borders, the Federal Trade Commission has joined an agreement with privacy enforcement authorities from other member economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.  The agreement provides a framework for agencies from different APEC member economies to help each other with enforcement investigations.  It also enhances information sharing among these agencies. 

“Much of the credit for this initiative goes to former Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.  “The FTC has had a long-standing commitment to cross-border privacy enforcement cooperation, and Commissioner Harbour’s tireless work on this issue will make it possible for the agency to redouble its efforts in the Asia Pacific region.” 

With 21 member economies, APEC promotes economic growth, cooperation, trade, and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.  Established in 1989, APEC operates on the basis of non-binding commitments.

The APEC privacy enforcement agreement, known as the Cross-border Privacy Enforcement Arrangement, also advances the FTC’s use of the U.S. SAFE WEB Act.  Signed into law in 2006, in recognition of the fact that spam, spyware, fraud, and other practices harmful to consumers are increasingly global in nature, the Act expands the FTC’s authority to share information and work cooperatively with foreign law enforcement agencies.  The Act also gives the FTC enhanced authority to protect the confidentiality of information from foreign sources.  

The Commission vote authorizing FTC’s participation in the Cooperative Arrangement was 4-0.  

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

(FTC File No. PO35303) 
(APEC NR.wpd) 

Contact Information

Betsy Lordan
Office of Public Affairs