The Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA) released a white paper, Implications of data privacy regulations for financial technology in Asia. Fintech innovations such as distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing, among others, have great promise in improving access to financial services and driving efficiencies within the Asia-Pacific region.
However, the region’s patchwork of data privacy-related regulations and laws threatens to upend the potential of these innovations. ASIFMA’s paper highlights the challenges faced by firms in grappling with varying personal data privacy regulations and suggests that policymakers develop a principles-based regulatory framework for data privacy that provides sufficient flexibility for firms looking to employ fintech solutions in the interest of growing Asia’s fintech ecosystem.
The paper makes the argument that a principles-based approach should replace reliance on overly-prescriptive rules that are not well suited for a rapidly changing fintech ecosystem. ASIFMA recommends that data privacy laws should: (1) be focused on outcomes rather than process; (2) ensure technology neutrality of regulation (3) be consistent with existing international best practices, (4) focus on how data is stored rather than geographic locations, (5) allow mechanisms to facilitate cross-border sharing, and (6) preserve the ability of firms to outsource functions to third-parties.