Protecting Privacy in an Increasingly Digital Developing World

The rocketing growth in the number of people online and improvements in computer capacity are making it possible for governments and the private sector to collect and share information on every facet of people's lives.

In developing countries, home to the greatest number of Internet and mobile users, privacy protection is scarce. And there is very little evidence-based policy discourse about balancing data collection with data protection and privacy safeguards.

This project will create the first global research network dedicated to improving privacy protection in the developing world. The network SAFEGUARD (Surveillance and Freedom: Global Understandings and Rights Development), will be comprised of 20 developing-country research teams. These teams will be supported by the UK-based Privacy International and its network of experts in law, technology, and human rights.

SAFEGUARD will generate evidence on national and regional level privacy issues, identifying legislative gaps and obstacles, as well as issues around implementation and enforcement. Advocating for greater protection and promotion of the right to privacy, this project will collaborate with national, regional, and international governmental bodies to promote research findings. It will also encourage participation of national and regional stakeholders in this policy area, and raise the profile of privacy issues in regional and international fora.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Friday, December 21, 2012

End Date

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


28 months

IDRC Officer

Sayo, Phet

Total funding

CA$ 2,248,200


North of Sahara, South of Sahara, North and Central America, South America, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia


Networked Economies

Project Leader

Gus Hosein (Dr.)


Privacy International

Institution Country

United Kingdom

Institution Website