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Asia Pacific Dashboard Digest | Notes from the Asia-Pacific region, 10 May 2019 Related reading: Roundup: Canada, US and more


Hello, privacy pros!

I was appointed as the IAPP country leader for Australia in February of this year. I am grateful for the opportunity and for the warm welcome and encouragement from other Australian privacy professionals. I look forward to helping to grow and serve Australia’s privacy community going forward.

As this is my first time introducing the Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest, I wanted to take a brief moment to introduce myself to the IAPP’s members across the region.

I am the chief privacy officer at Cochlear Limited, a medical device manufacturer based in Sydney, Australia, and a global leader in implantable hearing solutions. My technology and legal career spans three continents over more than two decades, with the last 12 years devoted to privacy and data protection matters. I have worked for large enterprises, including nine years at Microsoft, as well as startups as small as seven employees. I relocated to Sydney with my family two-and-a-half years ago after having spent five years in London. Prior to that, I was based in the United States.

Having just returned from a gathering of an overwhelming 4,000-plus privacy professionals at the IAPP Global Privacy Summit, it’s clear that our profession is experiencing massive growth. When I joined in 2007, the IAPP had fewer than 10,000 members. It has just surpassed 50,000 members across more than 100 countries! This growth is reflective of the importance of privacy across industries and geographies.

Closer to home, next week is Privacy Awareness Week in Australia and New Zealand. This is an initiative driven by the region’s regulators and supported by a broad range of organizations. As part of Australia’s PAW activities, I look forward to attending a (sold-out!) breakfast event organized by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, joining the free privacy-by-design webinar from Salinger Privacy and the IAPP, and supporting internal awareness activities at local Australian businesses, including at Qantas and at my employer, Cochlear.

With Australia’s federal election set for 18 May, it appears from this Reuters article that, despite recent global election scandals, Australian political parties continue to rely on their exemption from the Australian Privacy Act as they scoop up personal information to profile and target voters. Privacy professionals have a key role to play in helping civil society grapple with the ethical considerations of how information should and should not be used in the electoral sphere.

You’ll hear more from me in the coming months with some reflections on privacy developments in Australia and more broadly across the Asia-Pacific region. I am currently on the lookout for some good and tangible examples of differential privacy implementations. If you are aware of any, please pass them on!

Best regards,
Stephen Bolinger


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