Digital economy

OECD Recommendation on Cross-border Co-operation in the Enforcement of Laws Protecting Privacy


OECD governments have agreed on a new framework for co-operation in the enforcement of privacy laws.  The initiative is motivated by a recognition that changes in the character and volume of cross-border data flows have elevated privacy risks for individuals and highlighted the need for better co-operation among the authorities charged with providing them protection. 

Embodied in the new OECD Recommendation, the framework reflects a commitment by governments to improve their domestic frameworks for privacy law enforcement to better enable their authorities to co-operate with foreign authorities, as well as to provide mutual assistance to one another in the enforcement of privacy laws. The Recommendation is grounded in the 1980 OECD Privacy Guidelines (1980), which remain an influential statement of the foundations of privacy protection more then 25 years after their adoption.

The Recommendation was developed by the OECD Committee for Information, Computer and Communications Policy (ICCP), through its Working Party on Information Security and Privacy (WPISP). The work, conducted in close cooperation with privacy enforcement authorities, was led by Jennifer Stoddart, Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Initiatives to implement the Recommendation are already underway. The OECD has developed two model forms to facilitate privacy law enforcement co-operation. The first is a form to assist in the creation of a list of contact points in each country to co-ordinate requests for assistance. The second is a form for use by an authority in requesting assistance to help ensure that key items of information are included in the request.

The 29th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners to be hosted by Commissioner Stoddart in September 2007 in Montreal will be a key opportunity to progress the cooperation globally. The Recommendation will also be introduced at regional events such as the APEC privacy meetings in June 2007.

Further information about this OECD intiative, including a background report and other materials, is available at


Related Documents