National Comprehensive Data Protection/Privacy Laws and Bills 2023
1 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2011 Last revised: 24 May 2023
Date Written: January 28, 2023
Over 150 countries and self-governing jurisdictions and territories around the world have now adopted comprehensive data protection/privacy laws to protect personal data held by private and public bodies. Overall, around 57% of the global population lives in a jurisdiction with data protection.
In 2022, there were six countries which adopted laws for the first time: Indonesia, Cuba, Oman, Eswatini, Sri Lanka and Tanzania. There are now 131 UN Member States (2/3 of 193) who have adopted comprehensive data protection laws. 20 self governing jurisdictions including Taiwan, Kosovo and numerous overseas territories have also adopted laws.
The laws in these countries apply to personal information held in both electronic and physical form and to all or nearly all subject areas. In nearly all of the countries, the laws apply to personal information held by private bodies and by governments.
Note that this does not include countries with only subnational legislation or legislation that only covers certain sectors of the economy such as e-commerce but not comprehensively.
In nearly all of the countries, an independent data protection or information commission oversees and enforces the laws. Nearly all laws have included specific exemptions for the media to harmonise the right of privacy with freedom of expression while a few also specifically refer to national right to information laws.
There are also around 30 countries with pending bills including Nigeria (draft bill recently released with promises of speedy adoption), India (recently reintroduced), Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The map includes new initiatives from Cameroon, South Sudan and the United States, making its first appearance (although the likelihood of adoption in the near future is fairly low). There are also bills in countries with existing but old laws like Argentina and Chile that will significantly improve the existing regimes.
Keywords: privacy, data protection, personal data
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