At a meeting held April 7-9, 2010, the Council on General Affairs and Policy of the Hague Conference on Private International Law adopted a document entitled ‘Cross-Border Data Flows and Protection of Privacy’ that outlines the organization’s possible future work in the area of privacy and data protection law.  The document contains an overview of international data protection initiatives of the last few years, and addresses various cross-border cooperation issues, including problems created by the difficulty of determining applicable law and jurisdiction in cross-border data flows.  In

The paper concludes by identifying three areas where the Hague Conference could play a role, namely (1) identifying possible uncertainties on the applicable law to cross-border data flows necessary to the application of Hague Conventions, (2) assessing the feasibility of tools already successfully implemented by the Hague Conference on transnational co-operation and co-ordination in other contexts as models for cross-border data flow questions, and (3) contributing to the ongoing debate whether additional multilateral efforts are feasible and/or desirable and whether it would bring added advantages with respect to existing instruments.

The Hague Conference on Private International Law is a global inter-governmental organization working in the area of private international law.  It is based in The Hague, Netherlands and has 69 members (68 countries plus the European Union) representing a variety of legal traditions.