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The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) researched what countries have national data protection laws; whether these laws are comprehensive; and if any such laws are pending. The following presents the data for each country where information was available with one of the qualifiers:
Comprehensive Data Protection Law Enacted
Pending Effort or Obligation to Enact Law
No Law or Information
Summary of Findings:
While the European continent is near-complete with countries that have enacted comprehensive data protection laws, the same level of legal data protection is lacking in most of the rest of the world.
Belarus is the notable exception in Europe: at the time of UNCTAD's review it was the only country on the European continent with no data protection law or no information.
Most countries lacking any kind of data protection laws are African or Asian. These two continents however also have the highest number of countries where efforts are pending to enact such laws. If all currently pending efforts and obligations in Africa will actually get enacted, the continent will double its number of countries with comprehensive data protection laws, from 13 to 26.
The United States is the most salient developed Western country lacking comprehensive data protections laws. With China and India also currently lacking such laws close to a third of the world population lives without legal data protection. With efforts to enact laws pending in India, Nigeria and Brazil a large additional part of the world population could soon be covered by comprehensive data protection laws.
National Data Protection Laws
Status of Data Protection Laws for all countries
Countries with comprehensive data protection laws enacted by continent
Countries with pending effort or obligation to enact laws per continent
Countries with no data protection laws or no information per continent