Wednesday, September 22, 2010

International data protection authorities form Global Privacy Enforcement Network

Privacy regulators from around the world have joined forces to establish the "Global Privacy Enforcement Network" to facilitate interjurisdictional cooperation on privacy matters. The network includes:

  • U.S. Federal Trade Commission
  • Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
  • Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (France)
  • Office of the Privacy Commissioner, New Zealand
  • Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority
  • Office of the Privacy Commissioner, Australia
  • Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, Ireland
  • Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (Spain)
  • Information Commissioner’s Office (United Kingdom)
  • Garante Per La Protezione Dei Dati Personali (Italy)
  • Dutch Data Protection Authority (the Netherlands)
  • Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (Germany)
  • Office of the Victorian Privacy Commissioner, (Victoria, Australia)

Here is the announcement from the Canadian Commissioner's office: Announcement: Canada joins privacy enforcement agencies in establishing Global Privacy Enforcement Network - September 21, 2010.

Here is the joint press release:

Global Privacy Enforcement Network Launches Website

Page created on 21 September 2010 - 11:35.

September 21, 2010

Thirteen privacy enforcement agencies around the world have joined forces to launch the “Global Privacy Enforcement Network” (GPEN), a network designed to facilitate cross-border cooperation in the enforcement of privacy laws. In developing this network, the participating agencies recognized the need for greater international cooperation in this area. In the Action Plan launching the network, the founding privacy enforcement authorities stressed that “it is important that government authorities charged with enforcing domestic privacy laws strengthen their understanding of different privacy enforcement regimes as well as their capacities for cross-border cooperation.”

“Cooperation is critical in the enforcement of privacy laws. GPEN will provide us with the necessary tools to facilitate cooperation with our international counterparts,” stated Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the US Federal Trade Commission, one of the network’s launching members.

Discussions that led to the creation of GPEN began in the fall of 2009, and on March 10, 2010, representatives from many of the founding GPEN agencies met in Paris to discuss the network’s direction and to officially launch GPEN.

“We live in a globalized world with new technologies providing infinite possibilities for sharing and re-using information globally. Privacy has thereby also become a global issue. If we want to continue to protect the privacy rights of our national citizens, it is essential that we work together internationally,” stated Jacob Kohnstamm, Chair of the Dutch Data Protection Authority, another founding GPEN member.

The need for greater cooperation in the enforcement of privacy laws has been recognized not only by privacy regulators, but also by multilateral organizations, including the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

The agencies participating in GPEN are pleased to unveil the public GPEN website today,, and thank the OECD for supporting the website. Government agencies interested in participating in GPEN are encouraged to review the guidelines and instructions available on the GPEN website.

“The challenges in obtaining redress for consumers whose privacy has been compromised in today’s digital environment can be daunting. GPEN is part of a collective effort to provide more effective cross-border enforcement and complaints resolution. This is as relevant for a small economy in the South Pacific as it is for Europe and North America and New Zealand is pleased to play its part,” said New Zealand Privacy Commissioner, Marie Shroff, another GPEN founding member.

“As host of the 32nd International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, which will take place next month in Jerusalem, I have decided to devote part of the regulators’ closed session to discussion of collaboration not only among data protection regulators, but also between data protection regulators and additional regulatory authorities, such as consumer protection, competition, and securities authorities. I hope the Jerusalem conference will mark the first step in establishing innovative modules for such collaboration,” said Yoram Hacohen, Head of ILITA, the Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority, another GPEN founding member.

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