APCCA’s first forum discusses data protection, legaltech for corporate counsel

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APCCA’s first forum discusses data protection, legaltech for corporate counsel
(Top row from left): Daniel Choo; Arlene Lapuz Ureta; Deepika Chaudhary; (Middle row from left): Anil Changaroth; Reza Topobroto; Rejyl Siang

The Asia Pacific Corporate Counsel Alliance (APCCA) highlighted the need for data protection and the benefit of legal technologies at its first forum on 26 August.

Titled, A Round Table Discussion On Data Protection and Legal Technology in Asia Pacific, the virtual forum highlighted the need for data protection and management for businesses, especially during a work-from-home setup, and how legal technologies can support in-house counsel.

“A discussion of the data privacy legal framework governing our respective countries is timely and relevant during this pandemic when information sharing is mostly carried out online because of quarantine or lockdown constraints,” Arlene Lapuz Ureta, the secretary-general of the APCCA in Manila, told Asia Business Law Journal.

“The digital era has ushered in a huge transformation in the volume and the way information is being processed, transmitted and stored. Further, the globalisation of the economy brings to the fore the importance of an appropriate data protection regime in view of increasing cross-border transactions.”

The event was moderated by Anil Changaroth, director of international relations, external co-operation and membership at the APCCA in Singapore.

The speakers comprised Reza Topobroto, director of governance and administration at the APCCA in Jakarta; Rejyl Siang, chief compliance officer at the Legal Management Council of the Philippines in Manila; Daniel Choo, director of program and activity at the APCCA and co-president at the Singapore Corporate Counsel Association; and Deepika Chaudhary, a representative of the Federation of Indian Corporate Lawyers in New Delhi.

Ureta added that the technological advancements have effected a tremendous change in the social, economic and financial landscape that brought about numerous changes in privacy and data protection laws. It is imperative that companies realise the inevitable move towards a global digital landscape entails data and privacy protection laws, and regulations that restrict the ways in which personal data can be used.

“We have seen cybercrimes proliferate and how personal data have been mined and resold and how business and even political surveillance of online data has allowed people to be profiled,” said Ureta. “Yet, the digital breakthroughs are important in driving efficiency in rendering legal services in our companies, and helped law firms and legal departments add value to their services for their respective clients in the business community,” Ureta said

The webinar also highlighted the importance of the APCCA as a regional legal organisation that can achieve much in advocating and pushing for legislation favourable to in-house counsels’ clients in the business community.

“The APCCA forum provides a veritable venue for the in-house and corporate legal counsel community to discuss the latest legal developments and best practices in each legal jurisdiction in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Ureta.