Privacy and data protection authorities work together in specialist areas like cross-border enforcement and telecommunications.

The following information sets out information about specialist networks that involve GPA member authorities. Some of these networks involve only member authorities while others include participation of other experts, government representatives or enforcement authorities.

The summaries are based upon publicly available information. Please notify the Secretariat of any errors or of any networks that have been overlooked.

APEC Cross-border Privacy Enforcement Arrangement (CPEA)

Description: The APEC Cross-border Privacy Enforcement Arrangement (CPEA) creates a framework for regional cooperation in the enforcement of Privacy Laws.  Any Privacy Enforcement Authority (PE Authority) in an APEC economy may participate.

The CPEA aims to:

  • facilitate information sharing among PE Authorities in APEC economies;
  • provide mechanisms to promote effective cross-border cooperation between authorities in the enforcement of Privacy Law; and
  • encourage information sharing and cooperation on privacy investigation and enforcement with PE Authorities outside APEC.

The CPEA aims to contribute to consumer confidence in electronic commerce involving cross-border data flows by establishing a framework for regional cooperation in the enforcement of Privacy Laws. The CPEA was endorsed by APEC Ministers in November 2009 and commenced in July 2010.

Relationship with GPA: Many of the CPEA participants are also GPA members.

Website: The APEC Secretariat maintains both public and password protected web pages for CPEA.

Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN)

Description: In 2007 the OECD adopted a Recommendation on Recommendation on Cross-border Cooperation in the Enforcement of Laws Protecting Privacy that called for member countries to foster the establishment of an informal network of Privacy Enforcement Authorities. The Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) was established in March 2010 as a result.  GPEN connects privacy enforcement authorities from around the world to promote and support cooperation in cross-border enforcement of laws protecting privacy.

It primarily seeks to promote cooperation by:

  • exchanging information about relevant issues, trends and experiences;
  • encouraging training opportunities and sharing of enforcement know-how, expertise and good practice;
  • promoting dialogue with organizations having a role in privacy enforcement;
  • creating, maintaining and supporting processes or mechanisms useful to bilateral or multilateral cooperation; and
  • undertaking or supporting specific activities such as:
    • Periodic conference calls and meetings to discuss enforcement issues, trends, and experiences.
    • Presentations on effective investigative techniques and enforcement strategies and about various privacy enforcement regimes.
    • Exploration of similarities and differences in procedural, substantive and evidentiary rules to address challenges to cooperation.
    • Facilitation of coordination of investigations involving multiple authorities.
    • Cooperation with other organizations or networks involved with related activities.
    • Supporting cross-jurisdictional educational projects addressing privacy and data security-related issues for business or consumers.
    • Maintaining, in cooperation with international organizations, an authoritative contact point directory for enforcement purposes for countries around the world.

Relationship with GPA: Most GPEN members are also GPA members. GPEN sometimes hold meetings alongside the annual meeting of GPA.

Website: GPEN has a website with some pages open to the public and others that are available only to GPEN members.

International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications (IWGDPT) (also known as the Berlin Group)

Description: The Working Group was founded in 1983 in conjunction with the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners at the initiative of the Berlin Commissioner for Data Protection, who has continued to lead the Group. The Group has since 1983 adopted numerous recommendations (“Common Positions” and “Working Papers”) aimed at improving the protection of privacy in telecommunications. Membership of the Group includes representatives from Data Protection Authorities and other bodies of national public administrations, international organisations and scientists from all over the world. Since the 1990s the Group has in particular focused on the protection of privacy on the Internet.

Relationship with GPA: The IWGDPT has had a long and productive association with the GPA. Most active participants in the IWGDPT are experts from within GPA member authorities. The issues studied by the IWGDPT have often inspired and informed GPA resolutions. The closed session of the annual meeting of the Conference usually receives a written or oral report from the Chair of the IWGDPT. Draft IWGDPT working papers are circulated to GPA authorities for comment before finalisation.

Website: The Berlin Commissioner maintains a website for the IWGDPT.


Description: UCENet formerly known as the London Action Plan was founded in 2004 with the purpose of promoting international spam enforcement cooperation. Since inception, UCENet has expanded its mandate to include additional online and mobile threats, including malware, SMS spam and Do-Not-Call.

UCENet membership includes representatives from the government regulatory and enforcement community and interested industry members. Through periodic meetings and teleconferences, members stay connected and share information.

Relationship with GPA: A number of UCENet members are also GPA members

Website: The UCENet Secretariat maintains a website.