National Comprehensive Data Protection/Privacy Laws and Bills 2022

1 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2011 Last revised: 11 Nov 2022

See all articles by David Banisar

David Banisar

ARTICLE 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression

Date Written: October 28, 2022


Nearly 150 countries and self-governing jurisdictions and territories around the world (129 UN Member States, and 20 self governing jurisdictions) have now adopted comprehensive data protection/privacy laws to protect personal data held by private and public bodies.

In 2022, there has been five new country additions: Indonesia, Cuba, Oman, Eswatini, and Sri Lanka. There are now 128 UN Member States (2/3 of 193) who have adopted comprehensive data protection laws. Overall, around 57% of the global population lives in a jurisdiction with data protection.

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countries with pending bills including Nigeria (draft bill recently released with promises of speedy adoption), India (withdrawn but soon to be reintroduced), Tanzania (Nearly finished with approval), Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The map includes new initiatives from Cameroon and 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

Suggested Citation

Banisar, David, National Comprehensive Data Protection/Privacy Laws and Bills 2022 (October 28, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

David Banisar (Contact Author)

ARTICLE 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression ( email )

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