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Networks

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) hosts and participants in a number of international and domestic information and best practice sharing forums, initiatives and arrangements. 

Currently, we coordinate a public sector privacy network which seeks to help and increase opportunities for privacy contact officers in government organisations to meet, collaborate and share expertise.

We also build and maintain productive relationships with privacy organisations and authorities in other jurisdictions through a number of national and international forums and arrangements.

Privacy Professionals Network

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is launching a new Privacy Professionals Network for public and private sector privacy professionals.

The OAIC will be holding regular meetings and seminars, where members will have the opportunity to hear from experts, listen to case studies, and network with other members.

Existing members of the ICON mailing list will be contacted shortly about this opportunity. If you would like any further information please contact ppn@oaic.gov.au.

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Consumer Privacy Network

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is establishing a Consumer Privacy Network and is calling for organisations that represent consumer interests to join.

The Consumer Privacy Network will assist the OAIC to further understand and respond to current privacy issues affecting consumers. The group will meet twice a year for in-person forums, in addition to providing advice to the OAIC throughout the year on key areas of work.

The OAIC conducted an expression of interest process which closed on 4 April 2016. If you have any queries please email cpn@oaic.gov.au.

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Privacy Authorities Australia

Privacy Authorities Australia (PAA) is a group of Australian privacy authorities that meet regularly to promote best practice and consistency of privacy policies and laws.

PAA membership includes the OAIC and privacy representatives from all states and territories.

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Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities Forum

The Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) Forum is the principal forum for privacy authorities in the Asia Pacific region to form partnerships and exchange ideas about privacy regulation, new technologies and the management of privacy enquiries and complaints.

The OAIC actively participates in APPA forums, activities and initiatives.

Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities Forum wesbite

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Global Privacy Enforcement Network

The Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) is designed to facilitate cross-border cooperation in the enforcement of privacy laws.

GPEN builds on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Recommendation on Privacy Law Enforcement Cooperation (the Recommendation) (2007), which recognised the need for greater cooperation between privacy enforcement authorities on cross-border privacy matters. The Recommendation states that member countries should establish an informal network for privacy enforcement authorities and other appropriate stakeholders to discuss the practical aspects of privacy law enforcement cooperation.

Global Privacy Enforcement Network website

Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) Alert

In October 2015, the OAIC joined with a number of other GPEN members to launch an information sharing system called GPEN Alert. GPEN Alert is a multilateral system that will enhance coordination between GPEN member organisations by enabling participants to confidentially share information about investigations.

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Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

In 2007, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies endorsed the APEC Data Privacy Pathfinder (the Pathfinder) to guide implementation of the APEC Privacy Framework.

The Cross-border Privacy Enforcement Arrangement (CPEA) was developed as part of the Pathfinder initiative, and provides a framework for privacy regulators to cooperate and seek information and advice from each other on cross-border enforcement matters.

APEC Privacy Framework

The APEC Privacy Framework aims to promote a consistent approach to information privacy protection across member economies, while avoiding the creation of unnecessary barriers to information flows.

Consistent with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Privacy Guidelines, the Privacy Framework’s principles and implementation guidance are focused on four main goals:

  • to develop appropriate privacy protections for personal information
  • to prevent the creation of unnecessary barriers to information flows
  • to enable multinational businesses to implement uniform approaches to the collection, use and processing of data
  • to facilitate both domestic and international efforts to promote and enforce information privacy protections.

The Privacy Framework was endorsed by Ministers in Chile in December 2004. The Privacy Framework consists of four parts, including: Part I is a preamble, Part II deals with the scope of the principles, Part III contains the nine privacy principles and Part IV deals with implementation of the principles. A commentary has been published alongside the sections within Parts II and III to provide further information and context.

Cross-border Privacy Enforcement Arrangement

The Cross-border Privacy Enforcement Arrangement (CPEA) commenced on 16 July 2010. The OAIC is a participant in the CPEA.

The CPEA provides a framework for privacy regulators to cooperate, and to seek information and advice from each other on cross-border enforcement matters. Any privacy enforcement authority in an economy may participate in the CPEA, for example privacy commissioners' offices, data protection authorities or consumer protection authorities that enforce privacy laws.

The CPEA was developed as part of the Data Privacy Pathfinder initiative, established to progress the implementation of the Privacy Framework. The CPEA was endorsed by Ministers in November 2009.

The Pathfinder initiative also involves the development and implementation of a Cross-border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system. The system provides a way for businesses of participating economies to be recognised as meeting the standards of the Privacy Framework. Australia currently does not participate in the CBPR system.

In accordance with the CPEA, we published the Summary Statement of Privacy Enforcement Authority enforcement practices, policies and activities (July 2014).

For more information about the CPEA, visit APEC Cross-border Privacy Enforcement Arrangement (CPEA).

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International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners

The International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (ICDPPC) is an international forum which holds an annual conference.

The next conference will be hosted by the Moroccan Commission for the Control of the Protection of Personal Data between 18–22 October 2016:

Past ICDPPC conference websites:

Resolutions and declarations from the ICDPPC conferences since 2000 are available from the WorldLII International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners Resolutions and Declarations database.

Global Cross Border Enforcement Cooperation Arrangement

The Global Cross Border Enforcement Cooperation Arrangement (GCBECA) commenced on 27 October 2015. The OAIC was one of the original signatories to the GCBECA.

The GCBECA encourages and facilitates cooperation and collaboration in the enforcement activities of global privacy enforcement authorities. The GCBECA provides a framework under which privacy enforcement authorities are encouraged to:

  • share information about potential or ongoing investigations
  • coordinate enforcement activities
  • share best practices and experiences.

The agreement aims to achieve these by setting out a number of guidelines and provisions that promote and facilitate collaboration and information sharing amongst different authorities.

More information about the GCBECA can be found on the International Conference of Data Protection & Privacy Commissioners website.

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Information Contact Officer Network

The Information Contact Officer Network (ICON) is a network for freedom of information (FOI), Information Publication Scheme (IPS) and privacy contact officers in Australian Government agencies, the Norfolk Island administration and, relating to privacy only, ACT government agencies.

Contact officers are the first point of contact for advice on FOI, IPS or privacy matters related to their agency. The OAIC strongly encourages each agency to have contact officers at a senior level for each of these areas. In some agencies these functions may be handled by the same person.

ICON meetings are held throughout the year and provide contact officers with the opportunity to receive updates on the work of the OAIC and developments in the FOI, IPS and privacy areas. It also provides an opportunity for networking with colleagues in other agencies who may be dealing with similar issues in relation to FOI, the IPS or privacy.

If you are an information contact officer and would like to join the network or update your contact details, email icon@oaic.gov.au or ring our Enquiries Line on 1300 363 992.

Upcoming ICON meeting dates

Upcoming ICON meeting dates (linked to the agenda where available):

  • there are no ICON meetings scheduled

If you have a suggestion for an agenda item that you would like to see for any of the upcoming meetings please let us know.

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