By Anne Kimbol, Chief Privacy Officer, HITRUST
HITRUST has submitted its application to be recognized as an Accountability Agent under the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) Cross Border Privacy Rules System (CBPRS) and Privacy Recognition for Processors System (PRPS). We undertook this effort as organizations doing business in and among participating countries wanted to achieve cross-border certification while leveraging the HITRUST CSF and CSF Assurance programs. Once approved, this will further the value of the HITRUST CSF Assurance Program by allowing organizations to obtain an APEC Certification as part of their HITRUST CSF Assessment, expanding the value of “Assess Once, Report Many” and our commitment to One Framework, One Assessment Globally.
As many might not be familiar, the APEC Privacy Framework has long served as an important benchmark for privacy, not just in Asia Pacific region but worldwide. Currently, the United States, Japan, Canada, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, and Chinese Taipei are participating in the CBPRS and therefore are the APEC economies.
APEC developed, with collaboration from key stakeholders, the CBPRS to allow more free sharing of data between APEC economies. Under the CBPRS, organizations serving as data controllers, or the decision-maker about how the data is collected and processed, can achieve certification of their compliance with the APEC Privacy Framework to allow for cross-border data transfers, reducing liabilities and audits. The PRPS system allows organizations acting as data processors, or organizations using data under the direction of a data controller (similar to a business associate under HIPAA), to achieve certification of their compliance to the extent necessary to fulfill the role of a data processor. APEC has recognized that a controller seeking certification under the CBPRS has a different role as data guardian compared to that of a processor.
If approved as an Accountability Agent, HITRUST will be able to add the APEC CBPRS and PRPS to the standards against which an organization can report compliance and achieve certification using the HITRUST CSF and CSF Assurance programs while simultaneously obtaining APEC Certification.