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Global Data Privacy Laws 2015: 109 Countries, with European Laws Now a Minority

(2015) 133 Privacy Laws & Business International Report, February 2015

UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2015-21

7 Pages Posted: 8 May 2015 Last revised: 30 May 2015

Graham Greenleaf

University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law

Date Written: January 30, 2015

Abstract

By January 2015 the total number of countries with data privacy laws has increased by over 10% to 109, since the last assessment in mid-2013 listing 99 countries, available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2000034.

This article updates the assessments given in the previous articles in the series of each aspect of the global expansion of data privacy laws, and international agreements. For the first time, a majority of fifty-six data privacy laws are outside Europe, over 51% of the total. Because there is little room for increase within Europe, the majority of the world’s data privacy laws will now continue to be from outside Europe, and increasingly so. During this eighteen month period, the fastest ‘growth area’ has been Africa.

The previous article in this series predicted that countries with laws would become a majority in 2014. This has in fact occurred, as there are now 109 countries with laws, and 102 without such laws. The article argues that by the end of this decade the number of countries with data privacy laws, all of which have a strong ‘family resemblance’ will be between 66% and 80% of all independent jurisdictions globally. The number of countries with official Bills for new data privacy laws supports this.

The article also assesses the main developments in international agreements concerning data privacy in the last eighteen months.

This article accompanies 'Global Tables of Data Privacy Laws and Bills (4th Ed, January 2015)' (2015) 133 Privacy Laws & Business International Report, 18-28 and can be found at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2603502.

The second part of this analysis of the Tables is in 'Global data privacy laws 2015: DPAs and their organisations' (2015) 134 Privacy Laws & Business International Report, 16-19.

Keywords: privacy, data protection, legislation, global comparison

Suggested Citation

Greenleaf, Graham, Global Data Privacy Laws 2015: 109 Countries, with European Laws Now a Minority (January 30, 2015). (2015) 133 Privacy Laws & Business International Report, February 2015; UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2015-21. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2603529

Graham Greenleaf (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law ( email )

Sydney, New South Wales 2052
Australia
+61 2 9385 2233 (Phone)
+61 2 9385 1175 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.austlii.edu.au/~graham

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