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Asia Pacific Dashboard Digest | Notes from the Asia-Pacific region, 21 June 2019 Related reading: Swiss DPA yet to be contacted over Facebook's Libra project

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Kia ora koutou,

Here in New Zealand, we’re heading into winter. This brings shorter days, colder temperatures and a general downturn in activity. 

Not so for NZ’s Parliament, however. The Privacy Bill, which will substantially amend NZ's Privacy Act, received its second reading in Parliament 18 June. In my last editorial, I noted that the bill as drafted may not go quite far enough to safeguard NZ's EU Adequacy status. However, commending the bill to the House, NZ Justice Minister Andrew Little acknowledged the bill’s shortcomings and stated that he anticipated “a need for ongoing review and incremental reform given the rate of technological change and continual evolution of international privacy standards.” This may leave the door open for further changes to NZ’s Privacy Act in respect to punitive fines and rights to be forgotten, to data portability and to algorithmic transparency.

I’m planning to escape the cold with a trip to tropical Singapore to attend the upcoming IAPP Asia Privacy Forum 15–16 July. I am keen to see better and stronger privacy relationships forged with our colleagues across the Asia-Pacific region. There are still spaces available for the forum, which will examine operational privacy best practice locally within a global context. I am particularly interested to learn about the differences and similarities in privacy approaches across the Asia-Pacific. 

Closer to home, work also continues on building an inspiring program for the ANZ Privacy Summit in Sydney 29–30 Oct. With the Australian and NZ privacy commissioners confirmed as keynote speakers and a diverse and thought-provoking lineup of topics and speakers being planned, this will be one to watch. You can sign up to receive event updates here. I would urge people across the region (and beyond ANZ) to save the date to come hear the strong thought leadership ANZ has to offer. 

Hong Kong has dominated privacy news this week in the wider Asia-Pacific region, in respect to recent protests against the extradition bill. The Hong Kong Hospital Authority has publicly denied leaking information about protesters who sought treatment to the police after arrests were made. However, it was apparent that any staff had the ability to access hospital systems to download lists of patients who had attended protests. Such is the privacy concern among protesters, that many have taken active steps to protect their privacy, including by deleting their Chinese phone apps and using digital messaging apps, like Telegram, to plan meetups. 

Enjoy the digest, and I hope to see some of you in Singapore next month. 

Nga mihi nui 

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