What's new in research – Global Data Privacy Laws: 89 Countries, and Accelerating

Graham Greenleaf (Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales) published recently a research paper titled “Global Data Privacy Laws: 89 Countries, and Accelerating”, in which he analyzes the fast pace of legislating data protection around the world.

Here’s the abstract:

“It is almost forty years since Sweden’s Data Act 1973 was the first comprehensive national data privacy law, and was the first to implement what we can now recognize as a basic set of data protection principles. How many countries now have data protection laws? This article surveys the forty years since then of global development of data privacy laws to the start of 2012. It expands and updates ‘Global data privacy laws: Accelerating after 40 years’ ((2011) Privacy Laws & Business International Report, Issue 112, 11‐17) which showed that at least 76 countries had enacted data privacy laws by mid‐2011. Six months later, further investigation shows that there are at least 89 countries with such laws. The picture that emerges is that data privacy laws are spreading globally, and their number and geographical diversity accelerating since 2000.

There are some surprising inclusions, and some illuminating trends in the expansion of these laws. The total number of new data privacy laws globally, viewed by decade, shows that their growth is accelerating, not merely expanding linearly: 8 (1970s), 13 (1980s), 21 (1990s), 35 (2000s) and 12 (2 years of the 2010s), giving the total of 89. In the first two years of this decade 11 new laws have been enacted (Faroe Islands, Malaysia, Mexico, India, Peru, Ukraine, Angola, Trinidad & Tobago, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Gabon and St Lucia) and the Russian law came into force, making this the most intensive period of data protection developments in the last 40 years.”

You can find the whole paper on the Social Science Research Network, HERE.

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