AustLII Home | Databases | WorldLII | Search | Feedback

Privacy Law and Policy Reporter

Privacy Law and Policy Reporter (PLPR)
You are here:  AustLII >> Databases >> Privacy Law and Policy Reporter >> 1998 >> [1998] PrivLawPRpr 36

Database Search | Name Search | Recent Articles | Noteup | LawCite | Help

Lau, Stephen; Waters, Nigel --- "Bringing the region - Asia Pacific Forum meets in Hong Kong" [1998] PrivLawPRpr 36; (1998) 5(1) Privacy Law & Policy Reporter 14

Bringing the region together — Asia Pacific Forum meets in Hong Kong

Stephen Lau and Nigel Waters

Privacy Commissioner Stephen Lau hosted a meeting of a new Asia Pacific Forum on Privacy and Personal Data Protection on 13 and 14 April this year (the first such Forum was arguably that held by British Columbia Commissioner David Flaherty in Victoria BC in January 1996). Attending the Hong Kong meeting, in addition to Lau and Flaherty, were Privacy Commissioners Bruce Phillips (Canada), Moira Scollay (Australia), and Bruce Slane (NZ) as well as representatives from Japan, South Korea and Singapore. A number of guests attended for specific sessions.

Bruce Slane outlined the objectives of the forum — to provide opportunities for an exchange of views; to debate on some of the privacy issues that delegates were facing in their jurisdictions and to encourage other Asian countries to address privacy issues.

Country reports

Points of particular interest from country reports were:


Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR)



South Korea

New Zealand

Key points in the current review of the Privacy Act, being undertaken by the Commissioner, include:

The EU Directive

Dr Ulf Bruhann from DGXV of the European Commission presented a paper entitled ‘The EU Data Protection Directive and its Impact on flows of Personal Data between the European Union and the Asia Pacific Region’. He made several key points:

Nigel Waters reported on the project he is involved in for the European Union on testing a methodology for assessing adequacy of data protection in third countries (see (1997) 4 PLPR 141).

A view from the US

Russell Pipe of the Global Information Infrastructure Commission presented his views on ‘Elements of Effective Self-Regulation for Protection of Privacy’. Key points included:

The role of international standards

Elizabeth Longworth, who represents NZ on the International Standards Organisation’s COPOLCO Working Group on Privacy explained the current ISO initiative. [see Private Parts in this issue for an update — Editor].

Privacy Enhancing Technology — P3P project

Joseph Reagle, from the World Wide Web Consortium, gave the Forum a brief introduction to the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) project, which aims to facilitate the ‘registration’ of Internet users’ privacy preferences such that they can then be respected by Internet service providers and traders.

Telecommunications Privacy

Dr Alexander Dix, the Deputy Commissioner for Berlin, gave a presentation on data protection issues in telecommunications, to be discussed at a meeting of the International Commissioners’ Working Party immediately following the Forum. [A separate report on this meeting wil be in the next issue — Editor].

Stephen Lau is Privacy Commissioner for Hong Kong and Nigel Waters ( is a consultant on fair information practices and Associate Editor of PLPR.

AustLII: Copyright Policy | Disclaimers | Privacy Policy | Feedback