Notes from the Asia-Pacific region, 8 Nov. 2019

(Nov 7, 2019) Hello, privacy pros.  Last week, approximately 300 privacy professionals from Australia, New Zealand and beyond came together in Sydney for two days at the 11th annual IAPP ANZ Summit.  We were treated to an impassioned speech from New Zealand Privacy Commissioner John Edwards, titled "Addressing the Power Asymmetry of the Big Tech Companies," in which he described the diffused power of individuals and regulators from around the world in contrast with the consolidated power held by a few large... Read More

IAPP, Hong Kong PCPD to co-host mainland China cybersecurity conference 11 Dec.

(Nov 7, 2019) The IAPP and Hong Kong’s Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data have co-organized a conference on mainland China’s cybersecurity law 11 Dec. The conference will cover legal developments with the law and its implementation challenges, as well as a discussion on the rule’s regulatory implications with Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data Stephen Kai-yi Wong. Other presenters include Norton Rose Fulbright, Beijing, Partner Barbara Li, Huawei Senior Legal Counsel Allen Ting, CIPP/A, CIPM... Read More

Police explore using DNA from genealogical sites in criminal investigations

(Nov 7, 2019) New Zealand police have looked into using DNA from genealogy services in criminal investigations but have yet to use the technique in a case, Stuff reports. While some say the DNA could be used to track cold cases, others raise privacy concerns, and the concept is under investigation by the Law Commission. Privacy Commissioner John Edwards told the commission individuals submit their DNA to the genealogy sites for one reason, but in criminal investigations, it would be used for a “very different... Read More

Study: Mobile big data could have positive impact

(Nov 7, 2019) A GSMA study finds mobile big data solutions could have a positive societal impact over the next five years, IT Brief reports. The “Mobile Big Data Solutions for a Better Future” study states advanced mobile network analytics and artificial intelligence can be applied to make an impact in five areas: health care, managing air pollution, disaster response, disease prevention and increasing access to financial services. “The unparalleled reach of mobile networks across the globe provides a unique ... Read More

Taiwan Railways Administration excludes facial recognition from surveillance trial

(Nov 7, 2019) FocusTaiwan reports the Taiwan Railways Administration has announced its surveillance system trial will not include facial recognition. The system has facial-recognition cameras, but they will be disabled after public privacy concerns were raised. The artificial intelligence–based surveillance will still be capable of monitoring passenger behavior, including trespassing, loitering in restricted areas and prohibited acts.Full Story... Read More

IT Minister Prasad: India stands firm on data privacy

(Nov 7, 2019) The Economic Times reports India IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad reaffirmed India's stance in favor of strong privacy protections. "In India we view privacy seriously and informational privacy is also integral to that. It means a person must have control over his data and its commercial usage," Prasad said at the Commonwealth Law Ministers' conference. Prasad also discussed how India's pending data protection regulation must be balanced and unbiased, saying the law must be "technology agnostic."... Read More

App payment systems raise concerns for Indian government

(Nov 7, 2019) The Indian government is reaching out to financial institutions about the risks of payment features through social media apps, The Economic Times reports. “We are reaching out to the [National Payments Corporation of India] and the [Reserve Bank of India] to discuss safety features and in case some extra steps need to be undertaken to ensure security of financial data is not breached,” a government official said, according to the report. WhatsApp has been testing its payment service in India sin... Read More

OAIC, ACCC seeking answers on Libra privacy issues

(Nov 7, 2019) Eight Australian regulators, including the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, have discussed investigating Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency service more thoroughly, The West Australian reports. The limited information provided by Facebook has generated more questions than answers, leading to a rise in regulators' concerns. OAIC has suggested that regulators commence their own investigations to target specific issues with Libra.Ful... Read More

India's nationwide facial-recognition program brings privacy concerns

(Nov 7, 2019) Human rights and technology professionals have warned against privacy implications related to India's development of a nationwide facial-recognition system, Reuters reports. A contract for the system will be awarded this week, but the government has not explained specifics regarding the system's data collection, use and storage. "It is a mass surveillance system that gathers data in public places without there being an underlying cause to do so," Internet Freedom Foundation Executive Director Ap... Read More