During its 6th Annual Meeting, The Association of Francophone Data Protection Authorities (AFAPDP) decided to postpone the adoption of a new framework for international data transfers between French-speaking nations. DataGuidance reports that after considering the proposals, the AFAPDP members decided that they need additional time to assess them. This means that the new regime, which is likely to have a major impact on many international businesses operating within francophone countries, may not be introduced until the end of 2013.

An AFAPDP spokesperson confirmed that the framework under consideration is heavily based on the European model of Binding Corporate Rules (BCR), but with an additional agreement of cooperation between the francophone DPAs. Introduction of a unified system throughout among French-speaking countries is likely to be welcome news by the industry. The postponement could also mean that the framework may accommodate and be adapted to take account of the draft EU General Data Protection Regulation, which is scheduled to be voted on in May.

The proposed framework is AFAPDP’s reaction to the lack of international data transfers regulations and a response to other regional frameworks in this area. As underlined by Jean Chartier, President of the AFAPDP and the Quebec DPA, an important part of the on-going process is to create a stable and comprehensive francophone domain of data protection. He also expressed hopes that the AFAPDP developments will encourage all francophone governments, especially those in Africa, to introduce adequate data protection regimes.