Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Pacific rim privacy commissioners

In the last week or so, new Privacy Commissioners have been named for both Australia and Hong Kong:

Allan Chiang named Privacy Commissioner (Hong Kong)

The Chief Executive has appointed former Postmaster General Allan Chiang as the new Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data for five years from August 4.

Secretary for Constitutional & Mainland Affairs Stephen Lam said today Mr Chiang has rich experience in public administration, served in senior public positions and possesses proven leadership, management and communication skills.

"With his commitment, experience and knowledge he is well placed to perform the roles of the Privacy Commissioner. We are confident under his leadership the office will strive to promote the protection of personal data privacy in the community," Mr Lam said.

Mr Chiang, 59, has served in the Government for 33 years and was Postmaster General from 2003 to 2006. He has since been Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Design Centre.

Mr Chiang said he will work with the incumbent Roderick Woo, whose term of office will expire July 31, to ensure a smooth transition.

Mr Lam said Mr Woo has taken steps to strengthen the enforcement of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance and initiated inspections and investigations of major personal data systems of public concern to facilitate their compliance with the ordinance.

Mr Woo also conducted a comprehensive review of the ordinance having regard to developments in the last decade.

Government appoints new Privacy Commissioner (Australia)

Commissioner touts technology for privacy.

Special Minister of State Joe Ludwig has appointed Timothy Pilgrim as Australia's Privacy Commissioner, replacing Karen Curtis whose term ended on July 12.

Pilgrim was appointed as Deputy Privacy Commissioner in February 1998. He has now been appointed Privacy Commissioner for a five year term.

Senator Ludwig's office said Pilgrim was selected following an "open merit based" selection process, in accordance with the Guidelines introduced by the Government in 2008 after previous Privacy Commissioner, Curtis' term expired on July 12.

"I am confident that Mr Pilgrim's experience and operational knowledge of the office will be of great assistance when the office transitions to form part of the new Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, which will open its doors on 1 November 2010," Senator Ludwig said in a statement.

Pilgrim said he will focus his attention on informing the public about how technology can be used to protect privacy. He will also work with agencies and organisations to design new and developing technologies in a privacy-enhancing way.

"I note that advances in information, communication and surveillance technologies have created and intensified a range of privacy issues.

"While Australians value their privacy, they also appreciate that other interests intersect such as freedom of speech and law enforcement.

"People also want the significant benefits of new technologies, such as communicating with friends and family around the world, and shopping and banking online," he said.

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