Privacy International defends the right to privacy across the world, and fights surveillance and other intrusions into private life by governments and corporations. Read more »




Eric King's picture

Privacy International has compiled data on the privacy provisions in national constitutions around the world, including which countries have constitutional protections, whether they come from international agreements, what aspects of privacy are actually protected and when those protections were enacted. We are pleased to make this information available under a Creative Commons license for organizations, researchers, students and the community at large to use to support their work (and hopefully contribute to a greater understanding of privacy rights).

The categories

Though the right to privacy exists in several international instruments, the most effective privacy protections come in the form of constitutional articles. Varying aspects of the right to privacy are protected in different ways by different countries. Broad categories include:

Privacy International's picture

Together with a coalition with 18 Japanese rights groups, Privacy International today delivered a letter to the Japanese Minister of Justice to protest against the implementation of a fingerprinting system and face-scanning system at its borders. All visitors and many foreign residents to Japan will be fingerprinted under this plan. Our letter to the Minister is endorsed by 68 organisations from 30 countries. In our letter, we show that there are numerous problems with the government's plans. On top of infringing the rights to privacy of all visitors to Japan, the Japanese will run the risk of repeating the mistakes encountered by the US government in its border management systems that have lead to serious technology and management failures. We call on the Minister to reconsider their plans for treating business visitors and tourists as though they are terrorists.


Dear Minister Hatoyama

Regarding plans to fingerprint and face-scan all visitors to Japan

Press release

The London-based human rights organisation Privacy International today urged Japanese citizens to boycott their new national identity numbering system. The organisation has called on the Japanese government to acknowledge the dangers created by the system, and to immediately dismantle the project.

Privacy International has warned that the scheme will lead to the most dangerous and comprehensive violation of privacy in recent Japanese history. In the two weeks that it has been operating, dozens of municipalities have experienced computer failures and leakages of personal information. 

Simon Davies, Director of Privacy International, warned:

This situation will become more horrendous with each passing day. The technology and the administrative systems for the system cannot cope with the vast amount of information generated. Countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia have rejected similar proposals because of the risk to personal privacy and individual rights. Japan would be well advised to abandon this dangerous and discredited idea."

Subscribe to Japan