Getting closer to Base Camp: the sherpa’s are unpacking the tents

| May 25, 2011

Privacy will finally be on the agenda of the next G8 meeting. In an encouraging sign G8 leaders’ ‘sherpas’ (or policy emissaries) are on the job to help them scale the issue.

I wrote a blog in March titled Towards a Global Privacy Framework: Arriving at Base Camp.  The basis for making this statement was that, "Privacy is becoming a global leadership issue at last" because the first announcement had just come out from the CNIL that privacy would be on the agenda of the next G8 meeting for the first time.

Yesterday, we got a step closer.  An article published in the New York Times yesterday titled G-8 Leaders to Call for Tighter Internet Regulation, described the proceedings of a new forum convened by French President Sarkosy, E-G8.  The new forum was a "special gathering of the global digerati in Paris on the eve of the G-8 meeting".

Indeed, the article continued the Mt Everest analogy by noting that currently the, "G-8 communiqué … is still being finalized by the G-8 leaders’ sherpas, or policy emissaries".

President Sarkosy has been ambitious in his goals for the communiqué but in the end, it "is not expected to contain specific prescriptions like these. Instead, it will include broad pledges to deal with privacy, piracy and child protection, the people with knowledge of the talks said". 

Even so, the draft communiqué notes that "In Deauville in 2011, for the first time at Leaders level," … "we agreed in the presence of some leaders of the Internet economy, a number of key principles, including freedom, respect for privacy and intellectual property, multistakeholder governments, cybersecurity, and protection from crime, that underpin a strong and flourishing Internet."

To mix the analogies, "One small step…"


Malcolm Crompton is Managing Director of Information Integrity Solutions (IIS), a globally connected company that works with public sector and private sector organisations to help them build customer trust through respect for the customer and their personal information. Malcolm is a former Australian Privacy Commissioner. He was also foundation President of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, Australia New Zealand,