The GDPR Ripple Effect: Mapping Data Protection Laws over the past five years

In the five years since the EU introduced GDPR, the global landscape of data protection has transformed dramatically. In what ways, and what should you be aware of if you're part of an international company?
Since the European Union introduced the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) half a decade ago, digital rights and privacy have been redefined significantly. This wasn't merely a European revolution; it led to changes across continents: leading to reinforced laws, enforcement mechanisms and huge, revenue-linked fines for breaches of this legislation from the U.K. to China.  

For ourselves, as well as our clients, stakeholders and most importantly, customers, these aren't mere policy adjustments; they represent pivotal shifts in global business environments. In the labyrinth of international commerce, navigating these intricate patterns of compliance, transparency, and user rights has become paramount. 

Crown Records Management, our brand that specializes in Information Management, has spent much of 2023 analyzing these changes globally, offering insights on how these laws differ to GDPR, in what ways they are similar, as well as offering organizations general guidance on how local and international companies can be more robust in abiding by such regulation. 

China - PIPL (Personal Information Protection Law)

When China unveiled the PIPL in 2021, it signified alignment with stringent data protection standards akin to GDPR. 

The law not only revamps the consent, collection, and cross-border data transfer processes but also reflects China's commitment to digital rights. With colossal e-commerce transactions and digital interactions daily, China's PIPL serves as a robust beacon for nations, emphasizing that data protection is a global imperative.

In 2023, China also undertook to reform how its data protection laws were enforced, with the introduction of a data protection bureau. 
Read more about China’s PIPL and institutional changes. 

India - DPDP (Data Protection and Privacy)

India is another nation with deep roots in digital services, particularly since demonetization. These are generating enormous amounts of personal data which must be curated and dealt with legally and ethically. With the onset of the DPDP in 2023, the nation has aligned with the robust principles of GDPR while tailoring the regulations to India's unique socio-digital fabric. 

Besides championing user consent, the DPDP includes rules around data localization and the intricate balance between individual rights and digital innovation. 

Read more about India’s DPDP law. 

EU - Data Governance Act (DGA)

After the GDPR, the European Union has set its sight on how data-sharing rules should be crafted. The DGA, introduced later, was a move to not just protect data but to cultivate an environment for its ethical and efficient sharing of useful datasets. 

Expanding to encompass non-personal data, the DGA reinforces the EU’s commitment to a cohesive digital ecosystem. It speaks volumes of Europe's vision - not just as a pioneer but as an evolving leader in data governance.

Read more about the EU’s DGA. 

Southeast Asia - Data Protection Landscape

Southeast Asia is a more diverse picture, but still has guiding principles. Leaders like Singapore and Malaysia have set benchmarks with comprehensive frameworks, each echoing GDPR's ethos while catering to local nuances. For instance, Singapore's PDPA (introduced before GDPR) has since evolved, emphasizing both business transparency and individual empowerment. 

Malaysia's PDPA, also having its roots in 2010 has also been refined considering the global data-regulation environment, especially in the realm of breach notifications. Moreover, countries like the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand have made significant strides, reflecting the region's overarching commitment. 

The Philippines has emphasized explicit consent, Vietnam focuses on preventing unauthorized data sharing, while Indonesia and Thailand have embarked on GDPR-like journeys, underscoring their dedication to a secure digital future. Collectively, Southeast Asia is not only catching up but is also charting its distinct path in the global data protection narrative.

Read more about the Southeast Asian Data Protection landscape.