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Kia ora koutou,

I’d like to join my colleague Stephen Bolinger, IAPP country leader for Australia, in thanking the ANZ privacy community for putting in such a good effort at the ANZ Summit 2019 in Sydney. Stephen provided an excellent summary of the Summit in last week’s digest intro. The program was comprehensive, and we had a number of standout presentations that really inspired the local profession. 

What I found most interesting, however, was the theme that developed organically during the Summit. This theme was best captured by New Zealand Privacy Commissioner John Edwards, when he declared in his keynote speech that "this is not good enough." He was referring to the actions of global digital platforms and their apparent disregard for the privacy and well-being of us, their consumers. There was a general consensus that current privacy and data protection frameworks were not enough in isolation. Privacy professionals in ANZ and overseas are increasingly incorporating wider considerations, such as ethics and human rights, to help navigate the minefield created by rapid technological change, AI and ever-growing datasets. 

You can read the full transcript of the NZ Privacy Commissioner’s keynote speech here. The IAPP has also published various presentations delivered at the Summit here (just select the program event you're interested in, and the presentation should be available).

It was also refreshing to see how aligned our regional privacy regulators are in respect of the big issues and how to address them. The Summit closely followed the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Albania, at which international cooperation and the global convergence of regulatory approaches to privacy were a focus. There was a sense of drive and motivation from both the Australian and NZ privacy commissioners, and a call that regulators and agencies work together to turn the tide on poor global privacy practices. These themes have also been featured in the Australian Privacy Commissioner’s recently released annual report.   

Digital platforms and big data aside, here in NZ, the privacy commissioner has pulled no punches in respect to a Terrorism Suppression Bill making its way through the legislative process, declaring it obnoxious and unnecessary, and submitting to a select committee that the bill "represents an extraordinary and unprecedented intrusion on individuals' rights to privacy and liberty." Anyone who needs another fix of the commissioner’s blunt and engaging presentation style can view his submission to the select committee here. It’s a fascinating debate about the tension between national security and privacy. 

As always, this week's Asia-Pacific Digest pulls together other regional and global privacy news. Enjoy the digest.

 

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