The Regulation of personal data flows between the European Union and the Asia-Pacific Region



This paper explains the legal framework for cross-border transfers of personal data outside the EU
and assesses its impact on a selection of Asia-Pacific data protection laws. It studies the position
defended by the EU in the debates for a new general framework on e-commerce in the World Trade
Organization (WTO) and the sections regarding data flows of some free trade agreements recently
concluded by Asia-Pacific countries such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and
the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. This paper shows how
the regulation of data flows has surpassed national data protection laws to be increasingly present in
free trade agreements with the tensions this may entail, paying special attention to the EU and Asia-
Pacific. A holistic view is necessary because the consequences for human rights in trade negotiations
should not be overlooked.


Asia-Pacific, Electronic Commerce, European Union, GDPR, personal data flows

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