The recently finalized Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will prevent member countries from blocking the transfer of personal information unless there is a legitimate policy objective to restrict such transfers.
Under Article 14.11, each TPP country “shall allow the cross-border transfer of information by electronic means, including personal information, when this activity is for the conduct of the business of a covered person.” The TPP does not define “personal information,” however, and the scope of this provision is arguably far reaching. TPP will allow member countries to maintain laws that restrict such transfer of “personal information” but only to achieve a “legitimate policy objective” and provided that the measure:
- “is not applied in a manner which would constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on trade; and
- does not impose restrictions on transfers of information greater than are required”.
The TPP awaits ratification by Parliament.
More information is available here.