September 16, 1999
Hong Kong SAR, CHINA


Warn of New Threats to Privacy
Recommend Sweeping Proposals to Preserve Privacy in Next Century


Hong Kong SAR -- Privacy and consumer advocates meeting in Hong Kong today set out an ambitious agenda to safeguard privacy in the twenty-first century. The privacy supporters came from around the world to discuss the current state of privacy, to identify new threats to privacy, and to outline an international campaign to protect privacy in the next century.

Earlier in the week, Consumer International President Pamela Chan said that governments should conduct research on the potential for abuse in the way Internet transactions are carried out. She also urged the adoption of new safeguards to protect the privacy of individuals. Consumers International is a worldwide non-profit federation of consumer organizations, dedicated to the protection and promotion of consumers interests.

Privacy International Director Simon Davies said "We plan to go forward with an aggressive campaign to protect the right of privacy and to stand against all who would undermine this critical freedom." Privacy International is a UK-based human rights organization that focuses on surveillance activities by government and the private sector.

The meeting of NGOs from around the world took place as data protection commissioners were meeting to review new threats to privacy and new opportunities for privacy protection

Marc Rotenberg, director of the US-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, said that national government must continue to listen to the "public voice" as they go forward with policies for the Internet. "Privacy and the protection of consumer interests remain a central concern for the Internet economy."

Participants in the Privacy Agenda conference included representatives from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


"Privacy Agenda for the 21st Century" Conference

Consumers International

Privacy International

Electronic Privacy Information Center