Major Changes in Asia Pacific Data Privacy Laws: 2011 Survey
Privacy Laws & Business International Report, Issue 113:1, pp. 5-14, October 2011
19 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2012
Date Written: February 4, 2012
Nearly a quarter of a century after data privacy laws (or as the Europeans say, ‘data protection’) first appeared in Asia and the Pacific, 2011 was a watershed year, with dramatic developments in the expansion of data protection laws in Asia. This article surveys data privacy legislation developments across Asia (from Japan to Pakistan, and from Mongolia to Indonesia), plus Australasia and the Pacific.
The highlights of these new developments are new data privacy laws in South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and India, privacy protections in Vietnam’s new consumer law, and reform proposals in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. Legislative action seems to parallel the accelerating scale of threats to privacy, typified by massive data breaches in country after country, but the causal relationship is beyond the scope of this article. The article analyses these development, and the state of play in other countries of the regions, by sub-regions, in order of where the most dramatic recent developments have taken place: South Asia; North Asia; Indo-China; Australasia and the Pacific. The emphasis is on developments over the last 18 months, but background on previous data privacy laws is provided. The article updates Greenleaf, G ‘Asia-Pacific Data Privacy: 2011, Year of Revolution?’ (2011) Kyung Hee Law Journal.
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