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Chapter: 

Background

In early 2008 we began an 18-month project to study the privacy dynamics in a number of developing countries in Asia. This project was funded by the International Development Research Centre.

Over that period we researched the policy landscape in a number of countries in the region. Through extensive research, networking, and outreach campaigns, we identified six countries for more detailed analysis: Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Thailand. We visited those countries to meet with key stakeholders in government, industry, academia, the media and civil society. When possible and appropriate we also presented at workshops (e.g. India), hosted meetings for civil society (e.g. Malaysia and Thailand) and public forums (e.g. Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Philippines).

We extended the project in early 2009 so that we could try to identify additional countries for study, while also promoting further capacity building within our existing networks. This culminated in a capacity-building workshop in Bangkok in May 2009 where we invited partners from the six primary countries and from Hong Kong and Nepal to discuss shared challenges and opportunities. We asked each partner to invite one of their partners to join us in Bangkok so we could learn new perspectives and our privacy training work would reach a larger audience. We also invited world-experts on identity policy, DNA and Genetic privacy, and international legal standards for privacy protection.