An International Survey of Privacy Laws and Practice
This report was written by Privacy International with a grant provided by the Open Society Institute. The primary authors of this report are David Banisar of the Electronic Privacy Information Center and Simon Davies of Privacy International. Additional research was provided by Wayne Madsen, Michael Kassner, Ronnie Breckheimer, and Shauna Van Dongen. Knowledgeable individuals from academia, government, human rights groups and other fields were asked to submit reports and information. Their reports were supplemented with information gathered from Constitutions, laws, international and national government documents, news reports, human rights reports and other sources. A list of contributors is located at Appendix D.
Privacy is a fundamental human right recognized in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights and in many other international and regional treaties. Privacy underpins human dignity and other key values such as freedom of association and freedom of speech. It has become one of the most important human rights issues of the modern age. The publication of this report reflects the growing importance, diversity and complexity of this fundamental right.
This report provides details of the state of privacy in fifty countries from around the world. It outlines the constitutional and legal conditions of privacy protection, and summarizes important issues and events relating to privacy and surveillance.
Nearly every country in the world recognizes a right of privacy explicitly in their Constitution. At a minimum, these provisions include rights of inviolability of the home and secrecy of communications. Most recently-written Constitutions such as South Africa's and Hungary's include specific rights to access and control one's personal information.
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