Asian Business Law Institute to help boost data privacy practices through team-up

The body will work together with the Future of Privacy Forum to bolster support for emerging tech

Asian Business Law Institute to help boost data privacy practices through team-up

Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) subsidiary the Asian Business Law Institute (ABLI) is set to help boost data privacy practices through a team-up with the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF).

The collaboration is expected to generate research, publications and consultations that build on existing work by the two bodies, according to an ABLI press release. The bodies will guide both policymakers and the public on enhancing their data privacy practices, bolstering support for emerging technology.

“The focus on data privacy is especially critical as responses to the COVID-19 situation rely massively on data use and data flows,” SAL chief executive Rama Tiwari said. “There are synergies between FPF’s mission and ABLI’s work on data privacy.”

The ABLI has become crucial to discussions regarding the convergence of data protection laws in Asia over recent years, he explained. Meanwhile, the US-based FPF has collaborated with various industry and government stakeholders in progressing principled data practices.

Last month, the FPF launched its first APAC branch in Singapore, dubbed FPF Asia. The forum’s objective is to facilitate dialogue on privacy and data protection in APAC on a neutral platform.

“FPF Asia will benefit from our collaboration with ABLI,” FPF CEO Jules Polonetsky. “The launch of FPF Asia is incredibly timely. The two most populous countries in the world, India, and China, are introducing general privacy laws, and established data protection jurisdictions, like Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand, have recently updated their laws.”

Dr. Clarisse Girot, newly appointed TMT practice advisor at Rajah & Tann in Singapore, directs FPF Asia. She will spearhead the collaboration’s first project, a publication centred on the “consent” requirements, exceptions and challenges associated with data privacy regulations in the region.

The publication will also source suggestions for the consistent implementation of these regulations across APAC, and include a comparative analysis of the data privacy issues in Asia. Leading data protection experts in 14 jurisdictions across the region have been invited to contribute.

“In APAC as elsewhere, obtaining the user’s consent has long been considered the basis of any regulatory and compliance approach to data protection,” Girot said. “Today, this approach is called to question, and regulators and privacy professionals are promoting accountability over a consent-centric approach to data protection. However, the feedback received by ABLI is that the culture of compliance with consent is so deeply ingrained in APAC that no change will occur unless the regulators step in and take resolute action.”

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