National Comprehensive Data Protection/Privacy Laws and Bills 2024

1 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2011 Last revised: 29 Jan 2024

See all articles by David Banisar

David Banisar

London School of Economics, Department of Government; Governmental Accountability Project

Date Written: January 27, 2024


160 countries and self-governing jurisdictions and territories around the world have now adopted comprehensive data protection/privacy laws or regulations to protect personal data held by private bodies. Overall, around 82% of the global population lives in a jurisdiction with data protection laws or regulations.

In 2023, there were six countries which adopted laws for the first time. There are now 137 UN Member States (over 2/3 of 193 total) 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.

For this map, I have now include a new section for countries that have adopted broad protections of personal data through an order or decree from the executive. These are typically wide ranging protections but are not necessarily comprehensive and are usually limited in their scope to electric records. There are three countries that have regulations. They are often an important step towards the adoption of a comprehensive law such as happened in Nigeria last year.

There are now around 30 countries with pending bills. Some have adopted nearly to adoption such as Malawi, where the Data Protection Act, 2023 was approved by the National Assembly in December but awaits final approval and publication. Others that that were actively being considered in 2023 include Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Namibia, Pakistan, South Sudan, and Suriname. In the United States, the federal bill was reintroduced but made little progress. At the same time, over a dozen US states have now adopted laws, including a few fairly comprehensive ones. The map includes new initiatives in the Maldives and Djibouti.

Keywords: privacy, data protection, personal data

Suggested Citation

Banisar, David, National Comprehensive Data Protection/Privacy Laws and Bills 2024 (January 27, 2024). Available at SSRN: or

David Banisar (Contact Author)

London School of Economics, Department of Government ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Governmental Accountability Project ( email )

1612 K Street, NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20006
United States

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