Corporations spend a lot of time and money to ensure their employee- and customer-facing technologies are compliant with all local and regional data privacy laws. However, this task is made challenging by the patchwork of data privacy legislation around the world, with countries ranging from holding no restrictions on the use of personal data to countries with highly restrictive frameworks. To help our clients address these challenges, Forrester developed a research and planning tool called the Data Privacy Heat Map (try the demo version here). Originally published in 2010, the tool leverages in-depth analyses of the privacy-related laws and cultures of 54 countries around the world, helping our clients better strategize their own global privacy and data protection approaches.
The most recent update to the tool, which published today, highlights two opposing trends affecting data privacy over the past 12 months:
- Increased government surveillance continues to impede the free flow of information. Corporations worry that storing or processing data within the borders of a country with high levels of governmental surveillance could place their intellectual property at risk. Notable additions to the tool's growing list of countries with lowered barriers to government surveillance include the US, Germany, and the UK.
- Global momentum toward the EU’s model of data privacy regulation has led to new laws and better protection for the consumer. Many non-EU countries have passed laws over the past 12 months that bring the world’s collective standards around data privacy closer to the high-water mark laid out by the EU’s overarching Privacy Directive. For instance, countries such as Malaysia and South Africa have recently passed new data privacy frameworks that closely follow the EU’s lead. South Africa has even gone one step farther and implemented provisions that will likely be implemented by the future EU Privacy Directive updates.
Because information is a powerful business asset, modern businesses need to have the know-how to operate in this increasingly global economy. Forrester sees this Data Privacy Heat Map as a valuable source of information for our clients and is committed to updating the map on an ongoing basis. Forrester also provides strategic consulting services to help organizations navigate data security and privacy issues at every step of the information life cycle. To hear more about the Data Privacy Heat Map tool, read our privacy-related research, find out more about our privacy consulting services, or discuss privacy issues in general, visit www.forrester.com/rb/srm or reach out to our data privacy team (@ChrisShermanFR, @heidishey, @Andy_Forrester, @ManatoshDas1, @kelleymak10) on Twitter.