Data protection has risen in salience, partly because the pace of datafication and associated phenomena are increasing at a rapid pace. The coming into effect of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which asserts extra-territorial jurisdiction has contributed to bringing data protection legislation to the fore, especially in countries that have significant trading relationships with the European Union, including service exports in the form of business process outsourcing. At present, at least three of the BBNMAPS (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) countries have developed draft legislation, with texts from Pakistan and Sri Lanka published online for consultation. The influence of the ongoing data protection discussions in India also cannot be discounted. Likewise, the Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which is a voluntary framework for APEC members, are also relevant, as is the ASEAN Framework on Personal Data Protection.
This report was developed through an Expert Round Table discussion on “Data Protection in an Interconnected World” held on the 28th of June 2021, as the first of a series of discussions under the theme of “Frontiers of Digital Economy”
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