Digital Privacy in Asia

The exponential growth of data storage capability coupled with the rise of social media and Internet business applications means that companies and governments now have the ability to capture and maintain every facet of an individual's digital life. In Western democracies, the specter of an Orwellian society has been kept at bay by the enforcement of privacy laws. In Asia, home to the greatest number of Internet and mobile users, privacy protection is at best scant. Global prerogatives around security and terrorism, as well as the claimed need for unfettered access to data to improve business opportunities, have been eroding privacy rights in the region. Indeed, privacy and security are almost always presented as mutually exclusive principles that require trade-offs.

Recent thinking on these issues has suggested that privacy could be a means of ensuring greater security for government, and even lead to increased business opportunities. Certainly, the interplay between privacy rights, security concerns and business needs to be better understood. This project will therefore investigate privacy issues brought about by an increasingly networked society and its impact on the interaction between citizen, government and the private sector. It will also provide Asian researchers and advocacy groups with the necessary training and methodology to identify gaps, incompatibilities and deficiencies in national legal regimes with a view to influencing policy aimed at safeguarding privacy and human rights.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

End Date

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


24 months

IDRC Officer

Sayo, Phet

Total funding

CA$ 1,153,373


Bangladesh, Far East Asia, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Pakistan, Thailand, Central Asia, South Asia


Networked Economies

Project Leader

Gus Hosein


Privacy International

Institution Country

United Kingdom

Institution Website