Privacy Agenda for the 21st Century, Hong Kong, September 15.1999

As the twentieth century draws to a close, the future of personal privacy stands at a crossroads. Never has there been greater public support for the protection of privacy, and never has the end of privacy appeared more imminent. Around the world political leaders are responding to an increasingly engaged public about the need to develop new safeguards, rights, and technologies to protect privacy. At the same time, the most extensive systems of surveillance, tracking and monitoring for are being widely deployed. The United States and Europe remain unable to resolve a dispute over privacy standards, while proposals to extend surveillance to every aspect of private life are moving forward.

The annual meeting of the privacy and data protection commissioners in Hong Kong in September 1999 offers an historic opportunity to develop a Privacy Agenda for the 21st Century.

The Privacy Agenda conference begins with the following premises:

  • The protection of privacy is critical to the future of democratic society and personal freedom
  • The right of privacy is well established in law and should be extended to new media and new communications technologies
  • Techniques can be developed that enhance privacy as well as extract privacy
  • The protection of privacy is a global challenge
  • Privacy advocates play a critical role in the privacy debate
  • Privacy has reached a critical juncture
  • There is an urgent need to develop a coherent, effective program to protect privacy in the 21 century

The Privacy Agenda conference will explore the following strategies

  • Engage the public in a sustained, meaningful campaign on the need to protect privacy in the 21st century
  • Encourage cooperation among privacy advocates, academics, political leaders, NGOs and others
  • Promote the development of privacy impact statements
  • Provide resources for political decisionmakers and the general public about privacy issues


  • Welcome
  • Keynote
  • Recent Trends
    • International survey
    • Assault on anonymity
    • Network surveillance
  • New Developments
    • Perfect Identification
    • Routinized monitoring of public space
  • Privacy Agenda
  • A Privacy Declaration
  • Action Items

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