IBM has launched a number of global privacy and data protection initiatives for enterprise customers, which will reach Australian shores in early 2002.
The move reflects growing security challenges faced by enterprise customers and will be launched locally within months of Australia's new privacy legislation being introduced on December 21.
IBM has formed a global Privacy Institute and the Privacy Management Council to steer research towards developing privacy-enabling and data protection technologies for businesses.
The institute is part of a global initiative and a spokesman for IBM Australia said the local arm of the council will begin next year.
Australia's Federal Privacy Commissioner Malcolm Crompton has already been appointed a member of the global council.
IBM's customers are clearly engaged in a "privacy versus security" debate and it remains to be seen if this translates into more openness within enterprises, said Debera Tlmalty, chief privacy officer at IBM in Canada.
Tlmalty added that the institute's core focus is on developing software that lets enterprise customers manage personal data according to their privacy policies and customers' preferences.
The IBM Privacy Council will be chaired by IBM chief privacy officer Harriet Pearson and will "define" next-generation Tivoli privacy management software.