Countries worldwide regulating in the field of
privacy are generally following “the EU data protection model”, notes a report
from the Electronic Privacy Information Center
and Privacy International. The EU Directive on Privacy and Electronic
Communications does offer confidentiality, the report says, but globally it
sees a trend towards more surveillance.
the world, new laws have been enacted and many bills are pending to protect
individuals' right to privacy and data protection,” the report says. “While all
25 countries of the European Union now have a harmonised set of data protection
laws, most other countries that are regulating in the field of privacy are
located in Asia and Latin America. They are generally following the EU data protection
model. Last year, a European Directive (‘on Privacy and Electronic
Communications’) was implemented in more EU countries compared to previous
years, offering internet and telecommunications users protection against spam,
and confidentiality for their communications.”
the report also emphasises that “many countries around the world have pursued
policy and legislative efforts that aim at increasing the surveillance
governments exert over individuals. They have done so by establishing or
reinforcing identification schemes and monitoring individuals' communications.
At the same time, governments relentlessly tried to weaken data protection
regimes while intensifying the collection of information from public and
private sources, and sharing it with an increasingly wider range of law
enforcement and national security agencies.” New laws permitting greater
surveillance have often been motivated by the fight against terrorism, but
“many do not provide adequate oversight, and a recent trend has been a growing
reliance by governments to delegate their tasks of collecting and storing
information to the hands of private companies”.
The UK is one such country.
With concerted efforts to neuter and nullify the Freedom of Information Act.