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42nd APPA Forum — Communiqué

Group photo of the APPA forum participants.
APPA members at the 42nd APPA forum, Vancouver

The 42nd Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) Forum was hosted by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia in Vancouver on 1-4 December 2014. The meeting was attended by a broad range of APPA members.

Delegates discussed a variety of current issues over four days. Here are some selected highlights.

New Members

The meeting welcomed Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission as APPA’s seventeenth member.

Day One (closed session)

The first day involved only APPA member authorities and invited observers. Discussions during the jurisdictional reports focussed on the following topics: Statutory Frameworks and Legal Reform; Mobile Apps; Health Information and Genetics; and National Security and Law Enforcement. Subsequent sessions discussed the different cultures of privacy and the APPA secondment framework. The Forum approved “Privacy Matters at any Age” as the theme for next year’s APPA Privacy Awareness Week. The Privacy and Technology Working Group reported on the issue of internet search engines and the “Right to be Forgotten”. This issue remains in flux, and the Forum is committed to continue to closely examine the Right to be Forgotten and its applicability in member economies. The Forum reviewed the evolution of APPA and agreed to establish a “Way Forward Task Force” with a mandate to consider additions to APPA’s Statement of Objectives that will explicitly set out APPA’s role as a catalyst for privacy in the region and examine expanding the scope of APPA’s membership.

Day Two (broader session)

On the second day, the Forum was additionally attended by various government officials, private sector organization participants, civil society representatives and academics.

The meeting discussion included the following global privacy developments and updates: Article 29 Working Party, APEC data privacy subgroup, International Conference of Data Protection Privacy Commissioners Executive Committee, Global Privacy Enforcement Network and the Ibero-American Data Protection (RED). The Forum devoted the morning sessions to hearing how civil society groups interact with privacy regulators, about a risk-based approach to privacy and an overview of wearable technology.

Other sessions in the afternoon discussed a variety of topics such as the Right to be Forgotten, cross border trade and privacy regulation, and accountability and privacy regulators.

Commissioner arrivals and departures

The meeting acknowledged the leadership of particular individuals in member authorities and marked some retirements and appointments. Since the last meeting, the Forum noted that:

The meeting offered its best wishes for outgoing commissioners and welcomed new ones.

Next Meetings

The 43rd meeting will be hosted by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Hong Kong in June 2015.

The 44th meeting will be hosted by the Office for Personal Data Protection, Macao in December 2015.


The following member authorities participated in the meeting:

Officials from the following Government organizations attended the meeting as observers:

Also in attendance were invited guests from all levels of Canadian government, health care authorities and civil society representatives, industry, and Co-Chairs of the Canadian Bar Association Privacy Law Section.