Protecting Privacy in the Global South (Phase 2)
This project builds on earlier support to a unique global research network of policy researchers, lawyers, and technical experts dedicated to improving privacy protection in the developing world.
Rapid increases in the number of people online and the exponential expansion of mobile networks are making it possible for organizations and individuals to collect and share information on every facet of peoples' lives. Increasingly, these technological changes are outpacing the development of legislation for the protection of privacy rights.
The absence of appropriate privacy protections can lead to grave problems. Privacy is considered critical for freedom of expression and political engagement. Without it, democracy can break down. Privacy protections also enhance security by ensuring criminal bodies do not easily capture individual data. This new digitally connected reality requires national privacy legislation and enforcement to ensure citizens maintain their fundamental right to privacy.
Developing countries are home to the greatest number of Internet and mobile users, but such privacy protection is scarce. Evidence-based policy discourse is limited or non-existent regarding the need to balance this growth in data collection and storage with appropriate data protection and privacy safeguards.
The Protecting Privacy in the Global South project aims to improve rights to privacy and freedom of expression in developing countries. Through supporting this global research network, the project will improve data protection, retention, and privacy in nine countries, foster a global network of thought leaders on privacy, cyber security, and innovation, and, scale results and policy uptake to improve privacy in target countries. Privacy International, a UK-based policy-research organization, will coordinate the network and mentor emerging leaders. The network will emphasize regional peer-to-peer support to enhance the participation of national and regional stakeholders, promote research findings, and build on ongoing policy opportunities to bring privacy issues to regional and international agendas.