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Privacy Laws of the World

This document is a partner to pages on International Instruments, on Privacy Laws of the Commonwealth of Australia and on Privacy Laws of the States and Territories of Australia


Contents


Introduction

There is a vast array of privacy laws around the world. This document provides access to many laws, and to many resources that point to yet more laws. Please advise us of improvements that should be made. The links in this page are reviewed periodically. Please advise any broken links to the APF Web-Team.


Resources

Valuable resources on the web are as follows:

In print, see:


Privacy Laws by Country

This section has a section for each of about 30 countries, in alphabetical order. Each section lists important laws relevant to privacy, together with any other relevant sources for that country,


Australia

Details are available for:


Austria

National Law

Federal Data Protection Act of 1978

Austrian Telecommunications Act (1997)

Industrial Code (1994)

Genetic Engineering Act 1994

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999


Belgium

Constitution

Articles 22 and 32

National Law

Law on the Protection of Privacy Regarding the Processing of Personal Data (1992)

Law of 30 June 1994

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999

See also AustLII's Belgian Subject-Index for Privacy


Canada

All Canadian statutes can be accessed via CanLII.

National Law

Privacy Act (1983) - federal public sector

Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) - private sector, incl. coverage of Provinces without explicit law

Provincial Law

• Ontario

• Quebec

• British Columbia

• Alberta

• Saskatchewan

• Manitoba

• New Brunswick

• Nova Scotia

• Prince Edward Island

• Newfoundland

• Yukon

• North-West Territories

• Nunavut

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999

See also AustLII's Canadian Subject-Index for Privacy


Czech Republic

National Law

Protection of Personal Data in Information Systems Act [Act of April 29, 1992 on Protection of Personal Data in Information Systems (No. 256/92)]

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999


Denmark

Constitution

section 72

National Law

Law on Public Access

Law on Public Filing Systems

Danish Penal Code

[?Private Registers Act of 1978 (Lov nr 293 af 8 juni 1978 om private registre mv), in force 1 January 1979]

[?Public Authorities' Registers Act of 1978 (Lov nr 294 af 8 juni 1978 om offentlige myndigheders registre), also in force 1 January 1979]

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999

See also AustLII's Danish Subject-Index for Privacy


Finland

Constitution

Section 8

National Law

Personal Data Act (1999)

Statistics Act

Act on the Medical Research Development Centre

Act on the Protection of Privacy and Data Security in Telecommunications

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999

See also AustLII's Finnish Subject-Index for Privacy


France

National Law

Law No. 78/17 (1978) Data Processing, Data Files and Individual Liberties

Penal Code

Labour Code

Law on Video Surveillance (1995)

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999

See also AustLII's French Subject-Index for Privacy


Germany

Constitution

The highest court has inferred a "right of informational self-determination" directly from Article 2 of the German Constitution which declares protective personal rights (Persönlichkeitsrechte)

National Law

Federal Data Protection Act (1990)

Central Register of Foreigners Act (1994)

Federal Telecommunications Act (1996)

Telecommunications Carriers Data Protection Ordinance

Article 2 of the Federal Information and Communication Services Act (1997)

Länder Laws

All Länder have data protection laws

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999

See also AustLII's German Subject-Index for Privacy


Greece

Constitution

Article 9

Article 19

National Law

Law No. 2472/97 Protection of the Individual Against Processing of Personal

Data

Law No. 2225/94 protects freedom of correspondence and communication

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999


Hong Kong

Law of the Special Administrative Region

Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance

Other Sources

See Berthold M. & Wacks R., 'Data Privacy Law in Hong Kong', FT Law & Tax, 1997

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999

See also AustLII's Hong Kong Subject-Index for Privacy


Hungary

Constitution

Article 59

National Law

Protection of Personal Data and Disclosure of Data of Public Interest (1992)

and privacy included in other legislation

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999

See also AustLII's Hungarian Subject-Index for Privacy


Iceland

National Law

Act Nr. 121 Concerning the Registration and Handling of Personal Data (1989)

Act on a Health Sector Database no. 139/1998, 17 December 1998]

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999


Ireland

Constitution

The Irish Constitution recognises a right to privacy

National Law

Data Protection Act 1988

Some coverage under other legislation

Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages (Regulation) Act

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999


Isle of Man

Other Sources

See also AustLII's Isle of Man Subject-Index for Privacy


Israel

National Law

The Protection of Privacy Law 5741-1981, 1011 Laws of the State of Israel 128. Amended by the Protection of Privacy Law (Amendment) 5745-1985

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999


Italy

Constitution

Article 14 and Article 15]

National Law

Data Protection Act (1996)

Labour Decree n. 39/93

Law No. 59 of 15 March 1997

Legislative decree No. 171 of 13.05.98

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999


Japan

National Law

Act on Protection of Computer Processed Personal Data held by Administrative Organs (1988)

Local Government Laws

large number of Ordinances enacted by local authorities

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999


Korea (South)

Constitution

Article 17 & 18

National Law

Protection of Personal Information by Public Organisations Act

The Use and Protection of Credit Information Act

Protection of Confidentiality in Communications

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999


Luxembourg

National Law

Nominal Data (Automatic Processing) Act (1979)

other regulations eg. with respect to police and medical data files

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999


Mexico

Constitution

Articles 6, 7 and 16

National Law

Federal District Penal Code

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999


The Netherlands

Constitution

Article 10

National Law

Data Protection Act (1988)

Police Registration Act (1991)

Medical Treatment Information Act (1995)

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999

See also AustLII's Netherlands Subject-Index for Privacy


New Zealand

National Law

The Privacy Act 1993

Official Information Act 1982

Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987

Electoral Act 1993

Domestic Violence Act 1995

Generally, see the NZ Privacy Commissioner's Legislation page

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999

See also AustLII's New Zealand Subject-Index for Privacy


Norway

National Law

Act no.48 of 9 June 1978 relating to Personal Data Registers, etc.

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999

See also AustLII's Norwegian Subject-Index for Privacy


Poland

Constitution

Article 51

National Law

Act on the Protection of Personal Data (1997)

An Order of the Ministry of Health in 1993

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999


Portugal

Constitution

Article 35

National Law

Act on the Protection of Personal Data (1998)]

Law on Computer Crime (1991)

regulations such as the Registry of Non-Donors of Human Organs and the Identity Card Centre

regulations controlling the databases operated by the Gendarmerie, the Border and Foreign Services and the Criminal Police

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999

See also AustLII's Portuguese Subject-Index for Privacy


Spain

Constitution

Article 18.4

National Law

Ley Orgánica 15/99 de 13 de Diciembre de Protección de Datos de Carácter Personal 1999]

Law on public statistics

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999

See also AustLII's Spanish Subject-Index for Privacy


Sweden

Constitution

contains privacy provisions and also the "Instrument of Government"

National Law

Personal Data Act 1998

Law on Public Camera Surveillance 1998 (Lag (1998:150) om allmän kameraövervakning)

Credit Information Act

Debt Recovery Act

Official Statistics Act

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999


Switzerland

National Law

Federal Law on Data Protection (1992)

Telecommunications Law; Employment Contract Provisions

Federal Statistics

Swiss Criminal Code. Professional Secrecy in Medical Research 1993

Cantonal Law

Most of the Swiss Cantons have data protection laws

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999

See also AustLII's Swiss Subject-Index for Privacy


Turkey

Constitution

s.5 "Privacy and Protection of Private Life", Article 20 "Privacy of the Individual's Life"

National Law

draft law on Data Protection

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999


United Kingdom

National Law

Data Protection Act 1998]

Financial Services Act 1986, Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990

Charities Act 1993

Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

Other Sources

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999

Resources provided by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Information Centre

See also AustLII's U.K. Subject-Index for Privacy


United States

Constitution

The Supreme Court has read into it the Bill of Rights a limited constitutional right of privacy

National Law

The U.S. steadfastly refuses to establish generic privacy protection laws. As a result, they have the most privacy laws of any country in the world. The reason is that every time a new issue hits the airwaves, a new statute results, targeted at this year's major public scandal. ...

Privacy Act (1974)

Federal Trade Commission Act (1914)

Fair Credit Reporting Act (1970) or here

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Public Law 93-380, 1974

Cable Communications Policy Act (1984)

Cable Privacy Protection Act of 1984

Electronic Communications Privacy Act (1986)

Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act (1988)

Tax Reform Act of 1976,

The Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978

Video Privacy Protection Act (1988)

Telephone Consumer Protection Act (1991)

Drivers Privacy Protection Act, PL 103-322, 1994

"Children's Online Privacy Protection Act" (1998)

State Law

A number of State Constitutions include a right to privacy. States generally follow the federal sectoral model and enact privacy enhancing statutes on a sectoral (industry by industry) basis

Other Sources

See Bob Smith's Compilation of U.S. State and Federal Laws

See Bob Smith's history of privacy in the U.S.A., available from Privacy Journal

See Privacy International's Country Report for 1999

See also AustLII's U.S. Subject-Index for Privacy


Acknowledgements

This resource could be developed only by standing on the shoulders of giants, namely:

A few bits were drawn from a rather deficient OECD/ICCP document.


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Created: 31 May 2000 - Last Amended: 21 March 2014 by Roger Clarke - Site Last Verified: 11 January 2009
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