Global Privacy Enforcement Network

The Canadian Privacy Commissioner announced the formation of the Global Privacy Enforcement Network, or GPEN. It includes 13 privacy enforcement authorities from around the world.

We have come a long way from a few years ago when it was thought that the privacy commissioner’s ability to deal with entities or issues outside of Canada, even if there might be a Canadian connection, was limited. From the press release:

Canada has joined with privacy enforcement agencies around the world to establish the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN), a network designed to facilitate cross-border cooperation in the enforcement of privacy laws. GPEN, which today announced the launch of its web site, recognizes the need for greater international cooperation on privacy issues.

“I am very pleased to be a part of this initiative,” says Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jennifer Stoddart. “My Office has seen dramatic growth in issues and investigations dealing with the online world and multinational companies, and we recognize that increased cooperation with our international colleagues is critical to our future success.”

“The GPEN initiative is a very positive step forward for enforcement agencies like mine, which are grappling with increasingly complex and global privacy issues,” says Commissioner Stoddart.


  1. I hope they come out and inform the public HOW to keep their privacy. It’s not hard, after all. There are free tools like TrulyMail, GPG, TrueCrypt which allow users to encrypt their email or their hard drives. Sadly, most users don’t even understand the importance of sending encrypted email or keeping their hard drives safe. Hopefully, this new Network will help open some eyes.