On June 11 and 12, 2015, Asia Pacific Privacy Authority (“APPA”) members, invited observers and guest speakers from the government, private sector, academia and civil society, met in Hong Kong to discuss privacy law and policy issues at the 43rd APPA Forum. At the end of the open session on day two, APPA issued its customary communiqué, setting forth the highlights of the discussions of the open and closed sessions. The Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner, who hosted the APPA meeting, also hosted a conference on big data and privacy on June 10.

According to the Communiqué, during the closed session, APPA members and invited observers discussed numerous issues of common interest, including legal reforms across the region, law enforcement and investigation matters, breach notification and transparency in reporting requests from law enforcement and national security authorities to companies for personal information. During the closed session, privacy developments in other international fora and groups, such as APEC, the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, GPEN and the Ibero-American Network of Data Protection were also discussed. Finally, attendees of the closed session discussed privacy issues associated with big data and behavioral advertising, the regulation of public domain data and organizational accountability.

During the open session, APPA members and observers were joined by local and international privacy experts, including representatives from the Centre for Information Policy Leadership at Hunton & Williams LLP (“CIPL”), to discuss issues relating to data management and use in the modern information age. Other topics of discussion included updates on privacy laws in China and Taiwan, managing research data, open data and access to open data, health data and privacy, and smart cities and IT.

The previous day, the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner hosted the International Conference on Big Data from a Privacy Perspective. The public event was attended by many privacy commissioners, as well as privacy professionals and industry representatives from across the Asia-Pacific region. The conference considered the benefits and risks of Big Data in a data driven world and how the industry should innovate and find new ways to provide transparency to individuals. The CIPL delegation participated in a panel discussion entitled Big Data and Emerging Best Practices for a Win-Win Situation: Protecting Privacy and Enabling Benefits in a Data Driven Economy, and offered solutions and best practices.

APPA is the principal forum for privacy authorities in the Asia-Pacific Region. APPA members meet twice a year to discuss recent developments, issues of common interest and cooperation.