Digital economy

Current Developments in Privacy Frameworks: Towards Global Interoperability



Conference held at the


Mexico City

1 November 2011


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Privacy frameworks around the world are in flux. Three of the primary frameworks with an international dimension (OECD, European Union, and Council of Europe) are currently under review, and a fourth (APEC) is developing new cross-border implementation arrangements. 


The international instruments described above have significant influence on domestic approaches to privacy.  Work on domestic privacy frameworks is likewise underway across the globe, from Australia to Brazil to China to the United States.


While national laws share many of the same core principles, links among countries in the same region can influence domestic approaches. For example, work on privacy laws in Latin America is intensifying – new legislation in Mexico is one example – suggesting an increasing focus on privacy in the region. 


Given the international character of personal data flows, the need for international coordination on privacy issues has been acknowledged since at least since the 1970s, when the OECD developed Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data that just marked their anniversary of the OECD Guidelines for the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Data Flows.  Recent technology trends and organisational practices have accentuated the cross-border dimension of privacy issues and the corresponding need for a truly global dialogue. The moment is opportune for bringing together the global privacy community to exchange information about progress being made and ideas about how best to ensure that the current initiatives are complementary.  


In this context, this conference focused on the interoperability of privacy frameworks – “Current Developments in Privacy Frameworks: Towards Global Interoperability.”  Obtaining a better understanding of the commonalities and differences among various approaches to data protection can help in the move towards greater global interoperability. 


On the occasion of the conference the OECD released the Terms of Reference  for a review of its Privacy Guidelines. The Terms of Reference articulate a shared view among OECD members about key aspects of the current context for privacy protection and provide orientation for further work on the review



Hosted by the Ministry of the Economy of Mexico in conjunction with the Federal Institute for Access to Information and Data Protection, the OECD has organised this conference was held back-to-back with the 33rd International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners.


Held at the Hilton Hotel in Mexico City, the conference brought together more than 350 government officials and privacy authorities, along with representatives of international organisations, business, civil society, the Internet technical community, academics, members of the press and public. Each of the main sessions was organised as a moderated panel discussion. The link to the conference website is:



Agenda (PDF version)


Opening Session

  • Jaqueline Peschard Mariscal, President Commissioner, Federal Institute for Access to Information and Data Protection, Mexico (Speech)
  • Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, OECD (Video in Spanish - Speech in English)
  • Lorenza Martínez Trigueros, Undersecretary of Industry and Commerce of the Mexican Ministry of Economy, México (Speech)
  • Bruno Ferrari García de Alba, Secretary of the Economy, Mexico (Speech)

Session I. Developments in International Organisations

This session will take stock of the latest developments in international organisations that are active in privacy. The US-EU Safe Harbour arrangement was an early effort at improving interoperability among privacy frameworks, and the session will begin with two introductory presentations bringing perspectives on the current discussions underway in Brussels and Washington D.C. The discussion will then turn to progress in the ongoing reviews and implementation of international instruments in OECD, APEC, and Council of Europe, with a view to helping ensure good co-ordination among them.  


Topics for discussion:

  • What are common trends being considered as parts of ongoing privacy reviews and where can possible divergences be observed? 
  • What are their implications for organisations, large and small, operating globally?
  • What can be done to ensure the greatest degree of global interoperability?


  • Jennifer Stoddart, Privacy Commissioner of Canada


Setting the Context:

  • Françoise Le Bail, Director-General for Justice, European Commission    
  • Michelle O’Neill, Deputy Under-Secretary for International Trade, Department of Commerce, United States (Speech)

Views from International Organisations:

  • Andrew Wyckoff, Director, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, OECD (Speech)
  • Blair Stewart, Office of the Privacy Commissioner, New Zealand (member APEC Data Privacy Subgroup, co-Administrator APEC Cross-border Privacy Enforcement Arrangement). (Speech - Presentation)
  • Jörg Polakiewicz, Head of Human Rights Policy and Development Department, Council of Europe (Speech)

Session II. Developments in Latin America

This session will consider the evolving state of privacy protection in the Latin American region. Building on the constitutional “habeas data” rights, a number of countries in the region have developed or are developing privacy legislation, seal programmes, and other measures to increase awareness of the importance of protecting privacy among all stakeholders. Representatives of governments in Latin America will introduce their privacy frameworks and discuss their broader international implications.


Topics for discussion:

  • What is the state of play on the development of privacy legislation?
  • What other (non-legislative) mechanisms are in place to foster the protection of privacy and improve awareness about the importance of privacy among businesses and individuals?
  • What is the role of international instruments in the development of privacy protections in the region?
  • How might free trade agreements affect domestic approaches to commercial privacy and cross-border data flows?


  • Claudia Ivette Garcia Romero, General Director of Trade and Digital Economy, Ministry of the Economy, Mexico


Views from Latin American governments:

  • Danilo Doneda, Secretary of Economic Law, Ministry of Justice, Brazil
  • Luis Felipe Torres Bohorquez, Director of Economic Regulation, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Colombia (Presentation)
  • José Alvaro Quiroga León, Head of the National Authority for Personal Data Protection, Peru (Speech in Spanish)
  • José Clastornik, Director, Personal Data Regulatory Unit, eGovernment National Agency,  Uruguay


Concluding Session: Broadening the Discussion

The concluding session will expand the discussion to bring in a broader cross-section of expert views to recap key themes from the Conference and explore their implications for advancing global interoperability among privacy frameworks going forward.



  • Andrew Wyckoff, Director, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, OECD


  • Zhou Hanhua, Professor, Chinese Academy of Social Science
  • Joseph Alhadeff, Chief Privacy Officer, Oracle Corporation (Chair of the ICCP Business and Advisory Committee to the OECD)
  • Katitza Rodriguez, International Rights Director, Electronic Freedom Foundation (Civil Society Information Society Advisory Council) (Speech)
  • Omer Tene, Professor, College of Management School of Law, Rishon Le Zion, Israel


Contact Information

To obtain additional information, please contact [email protected]



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