16 September 1999
Hong Kong SAR, China


On the occasion of the 21st annual meeting of the international data protection and privacy commissioners, supporters of privacy from around the world gathered in Hong Kong to discuss the current state of privacy protection, to identify new threats to privacy, and to set out an agenda for the protection of privacy in the 21st century.

The 1999 Privacy Agenda conference reaffirmed support for:

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12;

The United Nations Guidelines for the Regulation of Computerized Data Files;

The OECD Recommendation Concerning and Guidelines Governing the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data ("OECD Privacy Guidelines");

The Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to the Automatic Processing of Personal Data; and

The Directive of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe on the Protection of Individuals with Regard to the Processing of Personal Data and the Free Movement of Such Data ("EU Data Directive").

To express concern regarding:

Abuses of personal privacy around the world by governments and the private sector;

The "Safe Harbour" Proposal now under consideration by the United States; and

The implementation of privacy invasive technologies

Called on supporters of privacy from around the world to undertake an international campaign to safeguard the inalienable right of privacy, to preserve human dignity, and to:

Promote privacy protection through legal rules, standards, and technological methods;

Advocate the adoption and enforcement of fair information practices;

Urge recognition of informational self-determination;

Inform the public of the growing threats to personal privacy, encourage public education and awareness of methods to protect privacy, and provide information, training and resources to the global NGO community;

Oppose the development of DNA databases, techniques for law enforcement access to private communications, privacy invasive copyright management systems, and other systematic assaults on personal liberty and intellectual freedom;

Assess the "public interest" claims that oppose privacy safeguards;

Develop guidelines for privacy impact statements and other methods to assess privacy risks of information systems;

Pressure privacy agencies to enforce privacy rules and standards;

Ensure participation by Non Governmental Organizations in meetings of national, regional and international organizations, including the World Trade Organization, the International Telecommunications Union, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development;

Pursue development of an international privacy charter; and

Take such other steps as are necessary to protect privacy in the 21st century.