Government appoints new Privacy Commissioner

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Government appoints new Privacy Commissioner

Commissioner touts technology for privacy.

Special Minister of State Joe Ludwig has appointed Timothy Pilgrim as Australia's Privacy Commissioner, replacing Karen Curtis whose term ended on July 12.

Pilgrim was appointed as Deputy Privacy Commissioner in February 1998. He has now been appointed Privacy Commissioner for a five year term.

Senator Ludwig's office said Pilgrim was selected following an "open merit based" selection process, in accordance with the Guidelines introduced by the Government in 2008 after previous Privacy Commissioner, Curtis' term expired on July 12.

"I am confident that Mr Pilgrim's experience and operational knowledge of the office will be of great assistance when the office transitions to form part of the new Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, which will open its doors on 1 November 2010," Senator Ludwig said in a statement.

Pilgrim said he will focus his attention on informing the public about how technology can be used to protect privacy. He will also work with agencies and organisations to design new and developing technologies in a privacy-enhancing way.

"I note that advances in information, communication and surveillance technologies have created and intensified a range of privacy issues.

"While Australians value their privacy, they also appreciate that other interests intersect such as freedom of speech and law enforcement.

"People also want the significant benefits of new technologies, such as communicating with friends and family around the world, and shopping and banking online," he said.

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