Joint Declaration on privacy and the protection of personal data
Strengthening trust in the digital environment
Rapid technological developments, in particular in information and digital technologies, have brought benefits for our economies and societies, as well as new challenges for privacy and the protection of personal data.
To foster data free flow with trust – which, as also acknowledged by the G20 Rome Leaders’ Declaration, is key to harness the opportunities of the digital economy – it is vital to ensure, as guaranteed by our respective legal frameworks, respect for individuals’ right to privacy and the protection of personal data as a core value and fundamental freedom. Lack of trust in how data is handled has negatively impacted our diverse societies and economies, as individuals and communities may be reluctant to adopt new technologies, public authorities could be hesitant to share personal data with foreign partners and commercial exchanges may face obstacles. In sum, without trust, our societies are not able to fully embrace and realise the benefits of the digital revolution, which are in turn key to development and in particular for achieving the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Goals.
Together, we share a common vision of a human-centric approach to such transformation, where the effective protection of personal data plays a crucial role and is a key enabler for cross-border cooperation.
To achieve this goal, we intend to foster international cooperation to promote high data protection and privacy standards based on certain core elements increasingly shared across the Indo-Pacific region, Europe and beyond, such as:
- Comprehensive legal frameworks and policies covering both the private and public sectors;
- Core principles such as lawfulness, fairness, transparency, purpose limitation, data minimisation, limited data retention, data security and accountability;
- Enforceable rights of individuals, such as access, rectification, deletion, and safeguards with respect to automated decision-making such as transparency and the possibility to challenge the outcome;
- Safeguards for international transfers to enable cross-border data flows by ensuring that the protection travels with the data;
- Independent oversight by a dedicated supervisory authority and effective redress.
We commit to foster and further develop international policy discussions and cooperation regarding data protection and cross-border data flows with trust, both bilaterally and multilaterally, in order to promote this shared vision and increase convergence amongst our data protection frameworks. In a world where data moves easily between jurisdictions, this also increasingly requires close cooperation, in compliance with the relevant applicable legal frameworks, among supervisory authorities across borders.
*This Joint Declaration was issued by the European Union, Australia, Comoros, India, Japan, Mauritius, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Sri Lanka at the Forum for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific held in Paris on 22 February 2022, and has subsequently also been endorsed by the Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan.