Ministers of OECD countries responsible for digital economy policy today adopted a ground-breaking Declaration on Government Access to Personal Data Held by Private Sector Entities.

The Declaration is the result of two years of multilateral and multistakeholder discussions in the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy, which for the first time brought together privacy, national security and law enforcement officials.

Global business commends the OECD on the Declaration which articulates principles that are common to OECD members with strong traditions of respect for human rights and the rule of law. They offer clarity and transparency around these shared values, which in turn we believe will increase trust among governments and bring important clarity for business and individuals alike.

The Declaration comes at a time when growing mistrust in data and data flows feeds uncertainty that has discouraged participation of individuals, businesses and even governments in the global digital economy. In this context, importantly, they should serve as a foundation for long-term political and legally secure mechanisms that support trusted international data flows, critical to the rapidly expanding digital economy.

Makoto Yokozawa, Co-Chair, Business at OECD (BIAC) Committee on Digital Economy Policy (CDEP) and ICC Global Digital Economy Commission Ambassador to Asia, said: “Through the delivery of these common set of principles, the OECD now has the opportunity to set impactful and practical basic international standards and norms for trusted government access to personal data, held by the private sector. This will provide a solid foundation for further development of the free flow of trusted data among OECD countries and beyond.

On behalf of over 45 million companies worldwide, the International Chamber of Commerce, through engagement with Business at OECD (BIAC), has actively contributed global business evidence to the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy process, highlighting the need for clear and transparent online safeguards, based on individual rights, shared values and common practices of OECD governments.

Andrew Wilson, ICC Global Policy Director, said: “We look forward to continued work together with Business at OECD to provide relevant input and evidence and to facilitate continued dialogue amongst governments in the OECD and beyond and the relevant stakeholders for effective implementation.

Business Contributions to the OECD CDEP process:

Joint Business Statement on the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy’s work to develop an instrument setting out high-level principles or policy guidance for trusted government access to personal data held by the private sector

ICC White Paper on Trusted Government Access to Personal Data Held by the Private SectorCenter for International Economic Collaboration

CFIEC Report on Forming Rules for Government Access: Toward Optimizing the International Flow of Personal and Non-Personal Data