BBB National Programs Receives APEC Approval as First U.S. Non-Profit Accountability Agent and Launches Global Privacy Division

For Immediate Release 
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs 

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org

McLean, VA – January 26, 2021 – Building upon its longstanding privacy protection work in Europe, BBB National Programs today announced its approval by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) as the first U.S.-based non-profit Accountability Agent in the APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) and Privacy Recognition for Processors (PRP) systems.  

As an Accountability Agent in the APEC privacy certification systems, BBB National Programs will enable companies of all sizes doing business in the 21 APEC economies to demonstrate compliance with internationally recognized data privacy standards.  

Concurrent with this announcement, BBB National Programs launched a new Global Privacy Division, dedicated to helping businesses large and small demonstrate to all stakeholders that they embrace privacy best practices, no matter where they operate. 

“Whether you are in Washington, D.C., Singapore, or Brussels, regulators’ attention has turned to enforcing privacy rights and defining data flows,” said Eric D. Reicin, President and CEO, BBB National Programs. “This trend underscores the need for leaders to take stock of their own privacy practices, policies, and procedures to ensure their organization follows through on stakeholder promises and minimizes litigation risk.” 

As an approved APEC Accountability Agent, BBB National Programs will work one-on-one with businesses to demonstrate compliance with the CBPR and PRP program requirements as developed by participating governments. Both certifications – CBPR for data controllers and PRP for data processors or vendors – are backed by BBB National Programs’ commitment to delivering independent accountability for privacy promises.  

BBB National Programs becomes one of seven recognized Accountability Agents for the CBPR and PRP Programs worldwide and the first U.S.-based non-profit. While the CBPR and PRP Programs support U.S.-headquartered businesses, BBB National Programs has also launched the Vendor Privacy Program (VPP) to support businesses headquartered outside the U.S. 

“Businesses certified to any of these new programs will receive a BBB National Programs certification seal to demonstrate their ongoing compliance with the associated program requirements,” said Dona Fraser, Senior Vice President, Privacy Initiatives, BBB National Programs. “With that seal, they also receive BBB National Programs’ high-touch support and independent dispute resolution for privacy complaints services, a core component of delivering privacy rights to consumers.” 

BBB National Programs’ Global Privacy Division will manage the two new APEC Certification programs – the BBB National Programs CBPR Program and PRP Program – as well as the existing BBB EU Privacy Shield program, operating for 20 years and currently serving more than 1,000 U.S. companies that process European personal data.  

The regulatory burden and associated risks for the transfer of personal data to the U.S. from the EU and U.K. have significantly increased following the Court of Justice of the European Union Schrems II decision. BBB EU Privacy Shield continues to help U.S. businesses demonstrate that their privacy practices align with European standards while the United States and the European Commission work together with the goal of getting a deal in 2021.

Learn more about the BBB National Programs Global Privacy Division here.  

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About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org. 

About the Global Privacy Division: The BBB National Programs Global Privacy Division helps businesses show their partners and customers that they put privacy first, no matter where they operate. Our programs serve as key elements of the Cross-Border Privacy Rules and Privacy Shield frameworks, bridging gaps between divergent privacy and data protection regimes. By embracing our independent accountability mechanisms, participating businesses strengthen standards for data privacy and enhance consumer trust in the digital marketplace.  

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