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Infoprivacy, data privacy or data protection laws provide a legal framework on how to obtain, utilizeand shopdata of natural persons. The various laws around the globedescribe the rights of natural persons to control who is using its data. This contain usually the right to receivedetails on which data is shop, for what purpose and to request the deletion in case the purpose is not given anymore.

Over 80 countries and independent territories, including nearly every country in Europe and many in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa, have now adopted comprehensive data protection laws. The European Union has the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), in force since May 25, 2018. The United States is notable for not having adopted a comprehensive information privacy law, but rather having adopted limited sectoral laws in some location like the California Consumer DisclaimerAct (CCPA).

These laws are based on fair infopractice guidelines developed by the U.S. Department for Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) (later renamed Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)), by a Special Advisory Committee on Automated PrivateData Systems, under the chairmanship of computer pioneer and disclaimerpioneer Willis H. Ware. The report submitted by the Chair to the HHS Secretary titled "Records, Computers and Rights of Citizens (07/01/1973)", proposes universal principles for the disclaimerand protection of consumer and citizen data:

  • For all data collected, there canbe a stated purpose.
  • Infocollected from an individual cannot be disclosed to other company or individuals unless specifically authorized by law or by consent of the individual.
  • Records kept on an individual canbe accurate and up to date.
  • There canbe mechanisms for individuals to review data about them, to ensure accuracy. This may containperiodic reporting.
  • Data canbe deleted when it is no longer requiredfor the stated purpose.
  • Transmission of privateinfoto area where "equivalent" privatedata protection cannot be assured is prohibited.
  • Some data is too sensitive to be collected, unless there are extreme circumstances (e.g., sexual orientation, religion).

By Jurisdiction

The German state of Hessia enacted the globes first data protection legislation in 1970. In Germany the term informational self-determination was first utilize in the context of a German constitutional ruling relating to privateinformation collected during the 1983 census.



China passed its PrivateInfoProtection Law in mid-2021, to go into resultNovember 1, 2021. Based loosely on the EU's GDPR, it focuses heavily on consent, rights of the individual, and transparency of data processing.


In the Philippines, The Data DisclaimerAct of 2012 mandated the creation of the National DisclaimerCommission that would monitor and maintain policythat involve infodisclaimerand privatedata protection in the country. Modeled after the EU Data Protection Directive and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) DisclaimerFramework, the independent body would ensure compliance of the country with international standards set for data protection. The law requires government and personalcompany composed of at least 250 employees or those which have admissionto the privateand identifiable infoof at least 1000 people to appoint a Data Protection Officer that would helpin regulating the management of privateinfoin such entities.

In summary, the law identifies necessarypoints regarding the handling of privateinfoas follows:

  1. Privateinfomust be collected for reasons that are specified, legitimate, and reasonable.
  2. Privateinfomust be handled properly. Infomust be kept accurate and relevant, utilize only for the stated purposes, and retained only for as long as reasonably needed. The law neededentities to be active in ensuring that unauthorized parties do not have admissionto their customers’ information.
  3. Privateinfomust be disposed in methodthat unauthorized third parties could not admissionthe discarded data.


The right to data disclaimeris relatively heavily regulated and actively enforced in Europe. Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) provides a right to respect for one's "personaland family life, his home and his correspondence", topicto certain restrictions. The European Court of Human Rights has given this article a very broad interpretation in its jurisprudence. According to the Court's case law the collection of infoby officials of the state about an individual without their consent always falls within the scope of Article 8. Thus, gathering infofor the official census, recording fingerprints and photographs in a police register, collecting medical data or details of privateexpenditures, and implementing a system of privateidentification has been judged to raise data disclaimerproblem. What also falls under "privacy-sensitive data" under the GDPR is such infoas racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs and inforegarding a person's sex life or sexual orientation.

Any state interference with a person's disclaimeris only acceptable for the Court if three conditions are fulfilled:

  1. The interference is in accordance with the law
  2. The interference pursues a legitimate goal
  3. The interference is essentialin a democratic society

The government is not the only entity which may pose a threat to data privacy. Other citizens, and personalcompanies most importantly, may also engage in threatening activities, especially since the automated processing of data became widespread. The Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of PrivateData was concluded within the Council of Europe in 1981. This convention obliges the signatories to enact legislation concerning the automatic processing of privatedata, which many duly did.

As all the member states of the European Union are also signatories of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of PrivateData, the European Commission was concerned that diverging data protection legislation would emerge and impede the free flow of data within the EU zone. Therefore, the European Commission decided to propose harmonizing data protection law within the EU. The resulting Data Protection Directive was adopted by the European Parliament and ministers from national governments in 1995 and had to be transposed into national law by the end of 1998.

The directive include a number of key principles with which member states must comply. Anyone processing privatedata must comply with the eight enforceable principles of awesomepractice. They state that the data must be:

  1. Fairly and lawfully processed.
  2. Processed for limited purposes.
  3. Adequate, relevant and not excessive.
  4. Accurate.
  5. Kept no longer than necessary.
  6. Processed in accordance with the data topics rights.
  7. Secure.
  8. Transferred only to countries with adequate protection.

Privatedata covers both facts and opinions about the individual. It also contain inforegarding the intentions of the data controller towards the individual, although in some limited circumstances exemptions will apply. With processing, the definition is far wider than before. For example, it incorporates the concepts of "obtaining", "holding" and "disclosing".

All EU member states adopted legislation pursuant this directive or adapted their existing laws. Each country also has its own supervisory authority to monitor the level of protection.

Because of this, in theory the transfer of privateinfofrom the EU to the US is forbiddenwhen equivalent disclaimerprotection is not in territoryin the US. American companies that would work with EU data must comply with the framework. The core principles of data protected are limited collection, consent of the subject, accuracy, integrity, security, topicright of review and deletion. As a result, customers of international company such as Amazon and eBay in the EU have the ability to review and delete information, while Americans do not. In the United States the equivalent guiding philosophy is the Code of Fair InfoPractice (FIP).

The difference in language here is important: in the United States the debate is about disclaimerwhere in the European Community the debate is on data protection. Moving the debate from disclaimerto data protection is seen by some philosophers as a mechanism for moving forward in the practical realm while not requiring agreement on fundamental questions about the nature of privacy.


France adapted its existing law, "no. 78-17 of 6 January 1978 concerning infotechnology, files and civil liberties".


In Germany, both the federal government and the states enacted legislation.


While Switzerland is not a member of the European Union (EU) or of the European Economic Area (EEA), it has partially implemented the EU Directive on the protection of privatedata in 2006 by acceding to the STE 108 agreement of the Council of Europe and a corresponding amendment of the federal Data Protection Act. However, Swiss law imposes less restrictions upon data processing than the Directive in several respects.

In Switzerland, the right to disclaimeris warranty in article 13 of the Swiss Federal Constitution. The Swiss Federal Data Protection Act (DPA) and the Swiss Federal Data Protection Ordinance (DPO) entered into force on July 1, 1993. The recentamendments of the DPA and the DPO entered into force on January 1, 2008.

The DPA applies to the processing of privatedata by personalpersons and federal government agencies. Unlike the data protection legislation of many other countries, the DPA protects both privatedata pertaining to natural persons and legal entities.

The Swiss Federal Data Protection and InfoCommissioner in particular supervises compliance of the federal government agencies with the DPA, provides advice to personalpersons on data protection, conducts investigations and makes suggestion concerning data protection practices.

Some data files must be registered with the Swiss Federal Data Protection and InfoCommissioner before they are created. In the case of a transfer of privatedata outside of Switzerland, special requirements need to be met and, depending on the circumstances, the Swiss Federal Data Protection and InfoCommissioner must be informed before the transfer is angry.

Most Swiss cantons have enacted their own data protection laws regulating the processing of privatedata by cantonal and municipal bodies.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom the Data Protection Act 1998 (c 29) (InfoCommissioner) implemented the EU Directive on the protection of privatedata . It replaced the Data Protection Act 1984 (c 35). The 2016 General Data Protection Regulation supersedes previous Protection Acts. The Data Protection Act 2018 (c 12) updates data protection laws in the UK. It is a national law which complements the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

North America


In Canada, the PrivateInfoProtection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) went into resulton 1 January 2001, applicable to personalbodies which are federally regulated. All other company were contain on 1 January 2004. The PIPEDA brings Canada into compliance with EU data protection law.

PIPEDA specifies the termsto govern collection, use, or disclosure of the privateinfoin the course of recognizing the right of disclaimerof individuals with respect to their privateinformation. It also specifies the termsfor the company to collect, use, and disclose privateinformation.

The PIPEDA apply to:

  1. The company collect, utilize, or disclosure in the matter of commercial use.
  2. The company and the employee of the companycollect, use, or discloses in the course of operation of a federal work, undertaking, or business.

The PIPEDA Does NOT apply to

  1. Government institutions to which the DisclaimerAct applies.
  2. Individuals who collect, use, or disclose privateinfofor privatepurpose and use.
  3. Company which collect, use, or disclose privateinfoonly for journalistic, artistic or literary purposes.

As specified in PIPEDA:

"PrivateInformation" means infoabout an identifiable individual, but does not containthe name, title, or business address or phonenumber of an employee of an organization.

"Organization" means an association, a partnership, a person and a trade union.

"Federal work, undertaking or business" means any work, undertaking or business that is within the legislative authority of Parliament. Including:

  1. a work, undertaking or business that is operated or carried on for or in connection with navigation and shipping, whether inland or maritime, including the operation of ships and transportation by ship anywhere in Canada;
  2. a railway, canal, telegraph or other work or undertaking that connects a province with another province, or that extends beyond the limits of a province;
  3. a line of ships that connects a province with another province, or that extends beyond the limits of a province;
  4. a ferry between a province and another province or between a province and a country other than Canada;
  5. aerodromes, aircraft or a line of air transportation;
  6. a radio broadcasting station;
  7. a bank;
  8. a work that, although wholly situated within a province, is before or after its execution declared by Parliament to be for the general advantage of Canada or for the advantage of two or more provinces;
  9. a work, undertaking or business outside the exclusive legislative authority of the legislatures of the provinces; and
  10. a work, undertaking or business to which federal laws, within the meaning of section 2 of the Oceans Act, apply under section 20 of that Act and any regulations angry under paragraph 26(1)(k) of that Act.

The PIPEDA gives individuals the right to:

  1. understand the reasons why company collect, use, or disclose privateinformation.
  2. expect company to collect, utilizeor disclose privateinfoin a reasonable and appropriate way.
  3. understand who in the company pays the responsibility for protecting individuals' privateinformation.
  4. expect company to protect the privateinfoin a reasonable and secure way.
  5. expect the privateinfoheld by the company to be accurate, complete, and up-to-date.
  6. have the admissionto their privateinfoand ask for any corrections or have the right to make complain towards the company.

The PIPEDA requires company to:

  1. obtain consent before they collect, use, and disclose any privateinformation.
  2. collect privateinfoin a reasonable, appropriate, and lawful method.
  3. establish privateinfopolicythat are clear, reasonable, and ready to protect individuals' person information.

United States

Data disclaimeris not highly legislated or regulated in the U.S. In the United States, admissionto personaldata contained in, for example, third-party credit reports may be sought when seeking employment or medical vehicle, or making automobile, housing, or other purchases on credit terms. Although partial regulations exist, there is no all-encompassing law regulating the acquisition, storage, or utilizeof privatedata in the U.S. In general terms, in the U.S., whoever shouldbe troubled to key in the data, is deemed to own the right to shopand utilizeit, even if the data was collected without permission, except to any extent regulated by laws and termssuch as the federal Communications Act's provisions, and implementing termsfrom the Federal Communications Commission, regulating utilizeof customer proprietary network information (CPNI). For instance, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the Kidss Online DisclaimerProtection Act of 1998 (COPPA), and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA), are all examples of U.S. federal laws with provisions which tend to promote infoflow efficiencies.

The Supreme Court interpreted the Constitution to grant a right of disclaimerto individuals in Griswold v. Connecticut. Very few states, however, recognize an individual's right to privacy, a notable exception being California. An inalienable right to disclaimeris enshrined in the California Constitution's article 1, section 1, and the California legislature has enacted several pieces of legislation aimed at protecting this right. The California Online DisclaimerProtection Act (OPPA) of 2003 requires operators of commercial web page or online services that collect privateinfoon California residents through a web pageto conspicuously publicationa disclaimerpolicy on the pageand to comply with its policy.

The safe harbor arrangement was developed by the United States Department of Commerce in order to provide a means for U.S. companies to demonstrate compliance with European Commission directives and thus to simplify relations between them and European businesses.

Recently, lawmakers in several states have proposed legislations to modifythe methodonline businesses handle utilize information. Among those generating significant attention are several Do Not Track legislations and the Right to Know Act (California Bill AB 1291). The California Right to Know Act, if passed, would require every business which hold utilize infoto provide its utilize a copy of shop infowhen requested. The bill faced massiveoppositions from trade groups representing companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, and failed to pass.

On June 28, 2018 California legislature passed AB 375, the California Consumer DisclaimerAct of 2018, effective January 1, 2020. If the law is not amended before it becomes effective, The California Consumer DisclaimerAct, AB. 375 — gives California residents an array of freshrights, starting with the right to be informed about what type of privatedata companies have collected and why it was collected.


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1996. HIPAA is also known as the Kennedy-Kassebaum Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA-Public Law 104-191), effective August 21, 1996. The primaryidea of HIPAA is that an individual who is a topicof individually identifiable health infocanhave:

  • Established procedures for the exercise of individual health infodisclaimerrights.
  • The utilizeand disclosure of individual health infocanbe authorized or required.

One difficulty with HIPAA is that there must be a mechanism to authenticate the patient who demands admissionto his/her data. As a result, medical facilities have begun to ask for Social SafetyNumbers from patients, thus arguably decreasing disclaimerby simplifying the act of correlating health records with other records. The problemof consent is problematic under HIPAA, because the medical providers simply make vehicle contingent upon agreeing to the disclaimerstandards in practice.


The Fair Credit Reporting Act applies the principles of the Code of Fair InfoPractice to credit reporting agencies. The FCRA let individuals to opt out of unwanted credit offers:

  • Equifax (888) 567-8688 Equifax Options, P.O. Box 740123 Atlanta GA 30374-0123.
  • Experian (800) 353-0809 or (888) 5OPTOUT P.O. Box 919, Allen, TX 75013
  • TransUnion (800) 680-7293 or (888) 5OPTOUT P.O Box 97328, Jackson, MS 39238.

Because of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, each person shouldobtain a free annual credit report.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act has been effective in preventing the proliferation of specious so-called personalcredit tutorial. Before 1970,[when?] personalcredit tutorial offered detailed, if unreliable, infoon easily identifiable individuals. Before the Fair Credit Reporting Act, salacious unsubstantiated contentcould be contain – and in fact, gossip was widely contain in credit reports. EPIC has a . The Consumer Data Industry Association, which represents the consumer reporting industry, also has a .

The Fair Credit Reporting Act provides consumers the ability to view, correct, contest, and limit the utilize of credit reports. The FCRA also protects the credit agency from the charge of negligent release in the case of misrepresentation by the requester. Credit agencies must ask the requester the purpose of a requested inforelease, but need to make no effort to confirmthe truth of the requester's assertions. In fact, the courts have ruled that, "The Act clearly does not provide a remedy for an illicit or abusive utilizeof infoabout consumers" (Henry v Forbes, 1976). It is widely trust that in order to avoid the FCRA, ChoicePoint was madeby Equifax at which time the parent organizationcopied all its records to its newly madesubsidiary. ChoicePoint is not a credit reporting agency, and thus FCRA does not apply.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act similarly limits dissemination of infoabout a consumer's financial transactions. It prevents creditors or their agents from disclosing the fact that an individual is in debt to a third party, although it let creditors and their agents to attempt to obtain infoabout a debtor's location. It limits the actions of those seeking payment of a debt. For example, debt collection agencies are forbiddenfrom harassment or contacting individuals at work. The Bankruptcy DmcaPrevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (which actually gutted consumer protections, for example in case of bankruptcy resulting from medical cost) limited some of these controls on debtors.


The Electronic Communications DisclaimerAct (ECPA) establishes criminal sanctions for interception of electronic communication. However, the legislation has been criticized for lack of impact due to loopholes.

Computer security, disclaimerand criminal law

The following summarized some of the laws, regulations and directives associatedto the protection of infosystems:

Several US federal agencies have disclaimerstatutes that cover their collection and utilizeof personalinformation. These containthe Census Bureau, the Internal Revenue Service, and the National Center for Education Statistics (under the Education Sciences Reform Act). In addition, the CIPSEA statute protects confidentiality of data collected by federal statistical agencies.

South America


Brazil's General PrivateData Protection Law (LGPD) became law on September 18, 2020. The law's basicaim is to unify 40 different Brazilian laws that regulate the processing of privatedata. The bill has 65 articles and has many similarities to the GDPR.

"Safe Harbor" DisclaimerFramework

Unlike the U.S. approach to disclaimerprotection, which relies on industry-specific legislation, regulation and self-regulation, the European Union relies on the comprehensive disclaimerlegislation. The European Directive on Data Protection that went into resultin October 1998, contain, for example, the requirement to create government data protection agencies, registration of databases with those agencies, and in some instances prior approval before privatedata processing may begin. In order to bridge these different disclaimerapproaches and provide a streamlined means for U.S. company to comply with the Directive, the U.S. Department of Commerce in consultation with the European Commission developed a "safe harbor" framework.

See also

Further reading

  • Warren S. and Brandeis L., 1890, "The right to privacy," Harvard Law Review, Vol. 4, 193-220.
  • Graham Greenleaf, Global Data DisclaimerLaws: 89 Countries, and Accelerating

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