In-depth reports on the current state of privacy in 195 countries around the world.
The newest incarnation of the Global Surveillance Monitor ("GSM") is a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive resource that aims to provide an open and current data set on all laws governing the surveillance and privacy of individuals worldwide.
Currently, accessing and comparing surveillance laws around the world is an arduous and time-consuming process, which often leads to unclear, unreliable, or incomplete results. Yet, access to law is fundamental to an individual's ability to participate fully in society.
To facilitate that participation, we are developing GSM to create greater understanding of surveillance and privacy laws, how they compare across jurisdictions, and how they affect individuals. We hope that this ambitious project will provide what has thus far been unavailable: a one-stop shop for every country's surveillance and privacy laws.
GSM also seeks to address the issue of interoperability, a common difficulty many organisations have when integrating the valuable data they produce. By providing all the data in the form of RDF, a global standard for data publishing, our approach will allows us to integrate with existing databases in a seamless manner, while also allowing other organisations to use our data without any need to convert it between formats.
For over fifteen years, Privacy International has been co-publishing the 'Privacy and Human Rights' reports, global surveys of recent privacy developments. These studies have become the benchmark global review, used by international organisations, regulators and politicians to advance privacy protections in their own countries. The last global study was released in 2007 and was over 1,200 pages long. The global comparative map we published has been downloaded over a million times and republished hundreds of times in newspapers, blogs, research papers and books. In January 2011, we published a European study that analysed the national privacy and data protection landscapes of 33 European countries.
We are now using this expertise to build a transparent resource that will provide comprehensive, reliable and current data regarding global privacy and surveillance laws, ranging from constitutional privacy protections to data protection legislation to the rules governing communications surveillance.
By providing tools that can compare data, in the form of these legal provisions across jurisdictions, we hope to enable academic institutions, corporations, lawyers, NGOs, and policy makers to understand and advocate for better privacy protections worldwide.