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Privacy Tech | Alibaba Cloud, TrustArc announce partnership at Asia Privacy Forum Related reading: South Korea joins APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules system

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Here at the IAPP Asia Privacy Forum in Singapore, where Alibaba Cloud Compliance Lead Larry Liu gave the closing keynote address, Alibaba Cloud and TrustArc (formerly TRUSTe) announced a new partnership. TrustArc will offer its cloud-based privacy management platform via Alibaba Cloud’s Singapore-based cloud infrastructure, while Alibaba will offer TrustArc’s solutions to its many cloud customers. 

In fact, Alibaba Cloud will use TrustArc’s Privacy Management Platform for its own compliance certification services as part of its global compliance structure.

Currently, TrustArc’s solutions run on AWS, and they will continue to, said CEO Chris Babel, with locations on the East and West Coasts of the U.S., plus London and Germany. However, with Alibaba Cloud looking for a compliance management solution and TrustArc looking for a cloud center in Asia that would allow for ease of data transfer, the match made good sense, Babel said.

“You want these cloud centers in places with good privacy protections,” he said, “and the PDPA has good privacy protections. … So, from a local perspective, this aligns with a lot of other trends in the region.” Singapore is making noises about joining the Cross Border Privacy Rules system soon, and that would potentially allow for free movement of data throughout the APAC region for companies using TrustArc on Alibaba Cloud.

Sure, the GDPR is dominating discussion right now, said Babel, but “companies based in Asia and U.S. companies want to be able to add content for Asia-based businesses, and so to launch here and have something based here was good for that customer base.”

Further, if you look at Alibaba Cloud’s customer base, they have a large contingent of SMEs, who don’t often have sophisticated privacy programs. Alibaba Cloud can now offer privacy management guidance, along with hosting services. “That really helps those who are under-resourced in privacy,” Babel said, “which can make both Albibaba and its customers more competitive.” And it helps that Alibaba is a user, as well: “They speak from experience to their customers.”

TrustArc’s participation as an accountability agent in the CBPRs program (where the TRUSTe brand lives on as the certification business) gives them good insight in the Asia region, Babel said, which leads them to believe Singapore is the right location for this kind of effort.

“If you’re a service provider,” Babel said, “here’s how you can know you have a good program and give your customers confidence. And as you think of your own program, here’s a great way as part of a broader package to get this taken care of yourself.”

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