Privacy in the digital age: a global update 15 June 21 Elena Scaramuzzi

Most of the countries covered in a comprehensive Global Trends benchmark on privacy in the digital age recently updated, or are in the process of updating, their respective privacy and data protection frameworks. This general trend stems partly from the new privacy challenges bound to the increasing uptake of online digital services, also as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Global Trends benchmark on privacy in the digital age covers Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Singapore, South Africa, and the United States.

Among the main findings of this research:

  • Most of the countries covered have comprehensive data protection frameworks. India and China are each proposing a unified data protection law, and the US has consumer privacy safeguards in certain states (e.g., California) but none at federal level.
  • In all of the countries which have a comprehensive data protection framework the rules have extra-territorial applicability.
  • All countries covered have different lawful bases for processing personal data apart from consent (e.g., contract, legal obligation, vital interests, public task and legitimate interests).
  • Most of the monitored countries apply general privacy rules to location data and treat biometric data as sensitive personal data.
  • The enforcement of privacy frameworks varies significantly across countries. Several landmark cases involve large technology companies.
  • National data protection authorities (DPAs) are often at different stages of operation, and it is not clear what constitutes an adequate amount of resources (staff count and annual budget).

Read the full research and discover how privacy is regulated and its enforcement works in practice across 12 different geographies around the world by clicking on “Access the full content” (Global Trends clients).

To request the report and/or a demo of the Global Trends service, click on “Request Access”, in case you are not subscribed to our Global Trends service.


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