The complexity of data privacy regulations varies from country to country. Countries like China and Paraguay lack many of the foundational regulations found in most other countries, while many in Europe have a deep commitment to protecting individuals’ right to data privacy.
In its new data privacy heat map, Forrester dissected the complex data privacy landscape with an interactive map that shares insight into 54 different companies and where they land on the privacy spectrum. The research notably found that Europe still has an influence on global regulations, and surveillance continues to be a controversial topic globally:
- Many countries follow Europe’s lead by adopting provisions similar to those in the existing Directive 95/46/EC regulation. For example, Nigeria passed its first comprehensive cybercrime legislation, and Japan established an independent Privacy Protection Commission that oversees privacy issues.
- The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has started to raise the legislative tide within Europe and abroad, as it imposes a higher standard of personal data protection with significant penalties for noncompliance in the EU. South Korea enacted stiff penalties similar to the upcoming GDPR due to data privacy violations of telcos and online service providers, for example, even though the regulation has not yet been enforced.
- The balance between security and personal privacy continues to pit governments against citizens. Some countries are reluctant to expose their citizens’ data in any way, but others are seeking more access — even countries with long-standing privacy footprints like Germany and the Netherlands, both of which passed or will soon pass regulations that increase government surveillance powers. On the other hand, criticism prompted India to withdraw a law in 2015 that would have forced companies to store all encrypted electronic communications for 90 days.