The United States/Canada/Mexico (USMCA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) present the most advanced provisions discussed in this paper. In common language known as spam, unwanted commercial electronic communications are messages that are sent en masse to recipients in forms such as advertising, product updates or commercial offers from different sources. Recognizing the negative effects these communications can have on the digital consumer experience, some free trade agreements have taken steps to regulate unwanted commercial electronic communications. These measures include consumers` personal consent to receive such messages, their right to obtain unwanted messages, and appropriate remedies if suppliers do not comply with these rules. Table 1 lists sixteen important numerical provisions for seven free trade agreements. While personal data protection prevents confidence in the underlying digital economy and has its own social and economic benefits, online privacy policies may create barriers to digital commerce. Consumer data is essential for businesses to facilitate transactions, analyze marketing information, identify models and develop competitive innovations. The parties must therefore balance two policy objectives: to protect the privacy and security of digital users and to facilitate the free flow of data in order to improve trade and communication. Restrictive data flow measures should only be imposed as necessary rules for the protection of consumer privacy and security, and never as restrictive and protectionist measures of digital commerce.
Facilitating cross-border transfer of information to businesses should be a common goal for countries facing the digital age, as it reduces the costs of cross-border trade, increases productivity, helps meet consumer demand and encourages innovation. Digital trade facilitation refers to the use of modern information and communication technologies to simplify and automate international trade procedures. It is increasingly important to maintain the competitiveness of trade and enable effective participation in cross-border e-commerce. Digital tools and e-commerce have rapidly changed the structure of commerce. The spread of the digital economy has expanded the capabilities of businesses of all sizes to enable them to conduct cross-border trade in a rapidly changing manner. The free flow of data and the cross-border transfer of information electronically are essential to the establishment of an efficient and sustainable international digital trade. Decisions on business development, marketing, innovation and the development of comparative advantages cannot be made without cross-border data flows. These two agreements include, for example, safeguards to protect developers` rights through their software source code from disclosure requirements. In addition, the USMCA incorporates source code algorithms into the protection theme, which distinguishes these free trade agreements from previous agreements. This change should facilitate implementation by providing for more precise clarification of the source code.
Parties should take the same safeguards for online consumers against fraudulent or deceptive business activities as for other consumers.