On 22 January 2021, it was announced that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had approved the new Data Management Framework (DMF) and Model Contractual Clauses for Cross Border Data Flows (MCCs).

ASEAN was established in 1967 with the key aim of improving economic growth and social progress, and collaboration and mutual assistance in South East Asia, amongst other things. There are currently ten member states of ASEAN (AMS), namely Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

The DMF and MCCs were developed to help harmonise the standards on cross-border data flows and data governance practices across the region. Adoption of the DMF and MCCs is not mandatory. However, AMS are encouraged to promote compliance with the DMF and MCCs by businesses in their respective jurisdictions. To this effect, The Singapore Data Protection Commission immediately issued additional guidance for organisations in Singapore on the use of the MCCs on 22 January 2021. Other AMS are expected to follow suit.

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