Privacy law refers to the laws that deal with regulating, storing, and using of personally identifiable information of individuals, which can be collected by governments, public or private organizations, or by other individuals.
Privacy laws are considered in the context of an individual's privacy rights or within reasonable expectation of privacy..
Privacy laws can be broadly classified into:
Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which was drafted and adopted by the Council of Europe in 1950 and currently covers the whole European continent except for Belarus and Kosovo, protects the right to respect for private life: "Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." Through the huge case-law of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, privacy has been defined and its protection has been established as a positive right of everyone.
Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations of 1966 also protects privacy: "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."
For a comprehensive global summary of data privacy laws (2015), click here to access Greenleaf's article documenting the change of privacy regulations throughout the international landscape.
The current state of privacy law in Australia includes Federal and state information privacy legislation, some sector-specific privacy legislation at state level, regulation of the media and some criminal sanctions. The current position concerning civil causes of action for invasion of privacy is unclear: some courts have indicated that a tort of invasion of privacy may exist in Australia. However this has not been upheld by the higher courts, which have been content to develop the equitable doctrine of Breach of Confidence to protect privacy, following the example set by the UK. In 2008, the Australian Law Reform Commission recommended the enactment of a statutory cause of action for invasion of privacy.
The Bahamas has an official data protection law that protects the personal information of its citizens in both the private and public sector: Data Protection Act 2003 (the Bahamas Law). The Bahamas Law appoints a data protection commissioner to the Office of Data Protection to ensure that data protection is being held. Even though there is legislation enforced in the Bahamas through the Data Protection Act 2003, the act lacks many enforcements since a data protection officer doesn't need to be in office nor does any group or organization need to notify the Office of Data Protection when a hacker has breached privacy law. Also, there are no requirements for registering databases or restricting data flow across national borders. Therefore, the legislation does not meet European Union standards, which was the goal of creating the law in the first place. 
The Bahamas is also a member of CARICOM, the Caribbean Community.
Belize is currently part of the minority of countries who doesn't have any official data privacy laws.
However, the Freedom of Information Act (2000) currently protects the personal information of the citizens of Belize, but there is no current documentation that distinguishes if this act includes electronic data.
In consequence to a lack of official data privacy laws, there was a breach of personal data in 2009 when an employee's laptop from Belize's Vital Statistics Unit was stolen, containing birth certification information for all citizens residing in Belize. Even though the robbery was not intentionally targeting the laptop- the robber did not predict the severity of the theft- Belize was put in a vulnerable position which could have been avoided if regulations were in order.
A Brazilian citizen's privacy is protected by the country's constitution, which states:
In Canada, the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) governs the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information in connection with commercial activities and personal information about employees of federal works, undertakings and businesses. It generally does not apply to non-commercial organizations or provincial governments. Personal information collected, used and disclosed by the federal government and many crown corporations is governed by the Privacy Act. Many provinces have enacted similar provincial legislation such as the Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act which applies to public bodies in that province.
There remains some debate whether there exists a common law tort for breach of privacy. There have been a number of cases identifying a common law right to privacy but the requirements have not been articulated.
In Eastmond v. Canadian Pacific Railway & Privacy Commissioner of Canada Canada's Supreme Court found that CP could collect Eastmond's personal information without his knowledge or consent because it benefited from the exemption in paragraph 7(1)(b) of PIPEDA, which provides that personal information can be collected without consent if "it is reasonable to expect that the collection with the knowledge or consent of the individual would compromise the availability or the accuracy of the information and the collection is reasonable for purposes related to investigating a breach of an agreement".
Computer Processed Personal Information Protection Act was enacted in 1995 in order to protect personal information processed by computers. The general provision specified the purpose of the law, defined crucial terms, prohibited individuals from waiving certain rights.
An archipelago located in pacific, the country of Fiji was founded in the tenth of October 1970. In its constitution, the people inhabiting the land are granted the right to privacy. The exact workings from the constitution is the following: "Every person has the right to personal privacy, which includes the right to-- (a) confidentiality of their personal information; (b) confidentiality of their communications; and (c) respect for their private and family life". But in this very same constitution, it is expressed that it is possible "to the extent that it is necessary" for a law to be passed that limits or impact the execution of the right to privacy law. Another privacy-related law can be seen in section 54 of the Telecommunications Promulgation passed in 2008, which states that "any service provider supplying telecommunications to consumers must keep information about consumers confidential". Billing information and call information are no exceptions. The only exception to this rule is for the purpose of bringing to light "fraud or bad debt". Under this law, even with the consent of the customer, the disclosure of information is not permitted. Other Privacy laws that have been adopted by this country are those that are meant to protect the collected information, cookies and other privacy-related matter of tourist. This is in regards to (but not limited to) information collected during bookings, the use of one technology of another that belongs to said company or through the use of a service of the company, or when making payments. Additionally, as a member of the United Nations, the Fiji is bound by the universal declaration of Human Rights which states in article two "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks".
France adopted a data privacy law in 1978. It applies to public and private organizations and forbids gathering sensitive data about physical persons (sexuality, ethnic, political or religious opinions...). The law is administered by the Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés (CNIL), a dedicated national administration.
Germany is known to be one of the first countries (in 1970) with the strictest and most detailed data privacy laws in the world.
The citizens' data of Germany is mainly protected under the Federal Data Protection Act (1977) from corporations, which has been amended the most recently in 2009. This act specifically targets all businesses that collect information for its use. The major regulation protects the data within the private and personal sector, and as a member of the European Union (EU), Germany has additionally ratified its act, convention, and additional protocol with the EU according to the EU Data Protection Directive 95/46 EC.
In Germany, there are two kinds of restrictions on a transfer of personal data. Since Germany is part of the EU Member States, the transfer of personal data of its citizens to a nation outside the EEA is always subject to a decent level of data protection in the offshore country.
Secondly, according to German data policy rules, any transfer of personal data outside the EEA symbolizes a connection to a third party which requires a reason. That reason may be for emergency reasons and a provision must be met with consent by the receiver and the subject of the data.
Keep in mind that in Germany, data transfers within a group of companies are subject to same treatment as transfer to third-parties if the location is outside the EEA.
Specifically the Federal Data Protection Commission is in charge of regulating the entirety of the enforcement of data privacy regulations for Germany.
In addition, Germany is part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The Federal Data Protection Commission of Ireland is a member of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, European Data Protection Authorities, the EU Article 29 Working Party, and the Global Privacy Enforcement Network.
Regarding the protection of children, Germany is potentially the first nation that has played an active role in banning the share of data within toys connected to Wifi and the Internet, like for instance, "My Friend Cayla". The group in charge of protecting the data of children is the Federal Network Agency (the Bundessnetzagentur). 
During the military dictatorship era the 57 AK law prohibited taking photos of people without their permission but the law has since been superseded. The 2472/1997 law protects personal data of citizens but consent for taking photos of people is not required as long as they aren't used commercially or are used only for personal archiving ("??????? ?????" / "home use"), for publication in editorial, educational, cultural, scientific or news publications, and for fine art purposes (e.g. street photography which has been uphold as legal by the courts whether done by professional or amateur photographers). However, photographing people or collecting their personal data for commercial (advertising) purposes requires their consent. The law gives photographers the right to commercially use photos of people who have not consented to the use of the images in which they appear if the depicted people have either been paid for the photo session as models (so there is no separation between editorial and commercial models in Greek law) or they have paid the photographer for obtaining the photo (this, for example, gives the right to wedding photographers to advertise their work using their photos of newly-wed couples they photographed in a professional capacity). In Greece the right to take photographs and publish them or sell licensing rights over them as fine art or editorial content is protected by the Constitution of Greece (Article 14 and other articles) and free speech laws as well as by case law and legal cases. Photographing the police or children and publishing the photographs in a non-commercial capacity is also legal.
In Hong Kong, the law governing the protection of personal data is principally found in the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486) which came into force on 20 December 1996. Various amendments were made to enhance the protection of personal data privacy of individuals through the Personal Data (Privacy) (Amendment) Ordinance 2012. Examples of personal data protected include names, phone numbers, addresses, identity card numbers, photos, medical records and employment records. As Hong Kong remains a common law jurisdiction, judicial cases are also a source of privacy law. The power of enforcement is vested with the Privacy Commissioner (the "Commissioner") for Personal Data. Non-compliance with data protection principles set out in the ordinances does not constitute a criminal offense directly. The Commissioner may serve an enforcement notice to direct the data user to remedy the contravention and/or instigate the prosecution action. Contravention of an enforcement notice may result in a fine and imprisonment.
Right to Privacy is a fundamental right and an intrinsic part of Article 21 that protects life and liberty of the citizens and as a part of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution. In June 2011, India passed a new privacy package that included various new rules that apply to companies and consumers. A key aspect of the new rules requires that any organization that processes personal information must obtain written consent from the data subjects before undertaking certain activities. Application of the rule is still uncertain. The Aadhar Card privacy issue become controversarial when the case reached Supreme Court.
Section 43A, which deals with implementation of reasonable security practices for sensitive personal data or information and provides for the compensation of the person affected by wrongful loss or wrongful gain.
Section 72A, which provides for imprisonment for a period up to 3 years and/or a fine up to Rs. 500,000 for a person who causes wrongful loss or wrongful gain by disclosing personal information of another person while providing services under the terms of lawful contract. A constitutional bench of the Supreme Court declared 'Privacy' as a fundamental right on August 24, 2017.
The island of Ireland is under the Data Protection Act 1988 and amended by the Data Protection Act 2003 along with the EU Data Protection Directive 95/46 EC, which regulates the utilization of personal data. Data Protection Act 1988 along with 2003 is known as the DPA and protects the data within the private and personal sector. The DPA ensures that when data is transported, the location must be safe and in acknowledgement of the legislation to maintain data privacy. When collecting and processing data, some of the requirements are listed below that must be adhered to:
Specifically the Data Protection Commissioner oversees the entirety of the enforcement of data privacy regulations for Ireland. All persons that collect and process data must register with the Data Protection Commissioner unless they are exempt (non-profit organizations and etc.) and renew their registration annually.
Electronic Privacy Protection
Considering the protection of internet property and online data, the ePrivacy Regulations 2011 protects the communications and higher-advanced technical property and data such as social media and the telephone.
In relation to international data privacy law that Ireland is involved in, the British-Irish Agreement Act 1999 Section 51 extensively states the relationship between data security between the United Kingdom and Ireland.
In addition, Ireland is part of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The Data Protection Commissioner of Ireland is a member of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, European Data Protection Authorities, the EU Article 29 Working Party, Global Privacy Enforcement Network, and the British, Irish, and Islands Data Protection Authorities.
Ireland is also the main international location for social media platforms, specifically LinkedIn and Twitter, for data collection and control for any data processed outside the United States.
The Jamaican constitution grants its people the right to "respect for and protection of private and family life, and privacy of the home". In this except though we see that even though the government grants it constituents the right to privacy, the protection of this right is not strong. But in regards to other privacy laws that has been adopted in the country of Jamaica, the closest one is the Private Security Regulation Authority Act. This act passed in the year 1992, established the Private Security Regulation Authority. This organization is tasked with the responsibility of regulating the private security business and ensuring that everyone working as a private security guard is trained and certified. The goal of this is to ensure a safer home, community, and businesses. One of the reasons as to why this law was passed is that as trained workers, the guards could ensure maximum Customer service and also with the education they received they would be equipped how best to deal with certain situations as well as avoid actions can that could be considered violations, such as invasion of privacy. Additionally, as a member of the United Nations, the Jamaica is bound by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states in article two "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks".
Act on the Protection of Personal Information was fully enacted in 2005 for the purpose to protect the rights and interests of individuals while taking consideration of the usefulness of personal information. The law applies to business operators that hold the personal information of 5,000 or more individuals.
Kenya at the moment does not have a strong general privacy protection law for its constituents. But in chapter 4 - The Bill of Rights and in the second part which is titled "Rights and Fundamental Freedoms," of the consitiution privacy is allocated its own section. There we see that the Kenyan government express that all its people have the right to privacy, "...which includes the right not to have-- (a) their person, home or property searched; (b) their possessions seized;(c) information relating to their family or private affairs unnecessarily required or revealed, or (d) the privacy of their communications infringed". Now with that said, though this country grants its people the right to privacy, there seems to be no document out there that protect these specific privacy laws privacy laws. Regarding privacy laws relating to data privacy, like many African countries as expressed by Alex Boniface Makulilo, Kenya's privacy laws are far from the European 'adequacy' standard". Kenya is making progress. As of today, the country does have laws that focus on specific sectors. The following are the sectors: communication and information. The law pertaining to this is called the Kenya Information and Communication Act. This Act makes it illegal for any licensed telecommunication operators to disclose or intercept information that is able to get access through the customer's use of the service. This law also grants privacy protection in the course of making use of the service provided by said company. And if the information of the customer is going to be provided to any third party it is mandatory that the customer is made aware of such an exchange and that some form of agreement is reached--even if the person is a family member. This act also goes as far as protecting data for Kenyans especially for the use of fraud and other ill manners. Additionally, as a member of the United Nations, Kenya is bound by the universal declaration of Human Rights which states in article two "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks".
In 5 July 2010, Mexico passed a new privacy package focused on treatment of personal data by private entities. The key elements included where:
In New Zealand, the Privacy Act 1993 sets out principles in relation to the collection, use, disclosure, security and access to personal information.
The introduction into the New Zealand common law of a tort covering invasion of personal privacy at least by public disclosure of private facts was at issue in Hosking v Runting and was accepted by the Court of Appeal. In Rogers v TVNZ Ltd the Supreme Court indicated it had some misgivings with how the tort was introduced, but chose not to interfere with it at that stage.
Complaints about privacy are considered by the Privacy Commissioner
Federal Republic of Nigeria's constitution offers its constituents the right to privacy as well as privacy protection. The following can be found in the constitution pertaining to this: "The privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications is hereby guaranteed and protected". Additionally, as a member of the United Nations, Nigeria is bound by the universal declaration of Human Rights which states in article two "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks". Nigeria is one of the few African countries that is building on the privacy laws. This is evident in the fact that Nine years later in the year 2008, the Cybersecurity and Information Protection Agency Bill was passed. This bill is responsible for the creation of the Cybersecurity and Information Protection Agency. This agency is tasked with the job of preventing cyber-attacks and regulating the Nigerian information technology industry. Additional laws have been passed that are meant to prevent the disclosure of information without permission and the intercepting of some form of transaction with or without evil intent.
In article 1 section 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines lets its audience know that "The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law". Not only does this country grant the Filipinos the right to privacy, but it also protects its people's right to privacy by attaching consequences to the violation of it thereof. In the year 2012, the Philippines passed a law called the Republic Act 101173 (also known to some as the Privacy Protection Act of 2012). This act extended privacy regulations and laws to apply to more than just individual industries. This act also offered protection of data belonging to the people regardless of where it is stored - be it in private spheres or not. In that very same year, the cybercrime prevention law was passed. This law was "intended to protect and safeguard the integrity of computer and communications systems" and prevent them from being misused. Not only does the Philippines have these laws, but it has also set aside agents that are tasked with regulating these privacy rules and due ensure the punishment of the violators. Additionally, with the constitution, previous laws that have been passed the are in violation of the laws above have been said to be void and nullified. Another way this country has shown their dedication in executing this law is extending it to the government sphere as well. Additionally, as a member of the United Nations, the Philippines is bound by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states in article two "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks".
As a general rule, consent of the individual is required for processing, i.e. obtaining, organizing, accumulating, holding, adjusting (updating, modifying), using, disclosing (including transfer), impersonating, blocking or destroying of his personal data. This rule doesn't apply where such processing is necessary for performance of the contract, to which an individual is a party.
Singapore enacted the privacy law in 2012, overseen by the Personal Data Protection Commission. On top of protecting personal privacy, new laws was introduced to govern telemarketing (and other marketing activities in similar nature) in which individuals can now list their contact number as part of a Do Not Call list.
The Protection of Personal Act 2013 (POPI) was signed into act, focusing on data privacy and is inspired by other foreign national treaties like the United Kingdom. Minimum requirements are presented in POPI for the act of processing personal data, like the fact that the data subject must provide consent and that the data will be beneficial, and POPI will be harsher when related to cross-border international data transfers, specifically with personal information. However, POPI won't be in full effective until an estimated date of 2018 as it is still being deliberated by the National Council of Provinces.
The recording of conversations over phone and internet is not allowed without the permission of both parties with the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communications Related Act (2002).
The main legislation over personal data privacy for the personal and private sector in Switzerland is the Swiss Federal Protection Act, specifically the Data Protection Act, a specific section under the Swiss Federal Protection Act. The Data Protection Act has been enacted since 1992 and is in charge of measuring the consent of sharing of personal data, along with other legislation like the Telecommunication Act and the Unfair Competition Act. The Act generally guides on how to collect, process, store, data, use, disclose, and destruct data. The Data Inspection Board is in charge of overseeing data breaches and privacy enforcement.
Personal data must be protected against illegal use by "being processed in good faith and must be proportionate". Also, the reason for the transfer of personal data must be known by the time of data transfer. Data not associated with people (not personal data) is not protected by the Data Protection Act.
In the case of data transfer to unsafe data protection countries, these are the major regulations required by the Data Protection Act:
Switzerland is a white-listed country, meaning that it is a nation that has proper levels of data protection under the surveillance by the European Commission (EU Commission). Switzerland is not under the EU Data Protection Directive 95/46 EC. However, the data protection regulations are sufficient enough under European Union (EU) regulations without being a member of the EU.
In addition, Switzerland is part of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The Data Inspection Board of Switzerland is a member of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, European Data Protection Authorities, the EU Article 29 Working Party, and the Nordic Data Protection Authorities.
As a member of the European Convention on Human Rights, the United Kingdom adheres to Article 8 ECHR, which guarantees a "right to respect for privacy and family life" from state parties, subject to restrictions as prescribed by law and necessary in a democratic society towards a legitimate aim.
However, there is no independent tort law doctrine which recognises a right to privacy. This has been confirmed on a number of occasions.
The right to privacy is not explicitly stated anywhere in the Bill of Rights. The idea of a right to privacy was first addressed within a legal context in the United States. Louis Brandeis (later a Supreme Court justice) and another young lawyer, Samuel D. Warren, published an article called "The Right to Privacy" in the Harvard Law Review in 1890 arguing that the U.S. Constitution and common law allowed for the deduction of a general "right to privacy".
Their project was never entirely successful, and the renowned tort expert Dean Prosser argued that "privacy" was composed of four separate torts, the only unifying element of which was a (vague) "right to be left alone". The four torts were:
One of the central privacy policies concerning minors is the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which requires children under the age of thirteen to gain parental consent before putting any personal information online.
For additional information on Privacy laws in the United States, see:
Though the right to privacy exists in several regulations, the most effective privacy protections come in the form of constitutional articles of Uzbekistan. Varying aspects of the right to privacy are protected in different ways by different situations.[vague]
|Cambodia||Cameroon||Central African Republic|
|Panama||Papua New Guinea||Rwanda|
|Samoa||Saudi Arabia||Sierra Leone|
|Tuvalu||United Arab Emirates||Uzbekistan|
|Vanuatu||Vatican (Holy See)||Venezuela|
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