10 Privacy Organizations and Blogs from Around the World

"All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret."

~ Gabriel Garcia Marquez

In a hyper-connected world where heavy government surveillance is becoming more and more common, while organizations look deeper into our habits and psych to understand our needs and desires, privacy is simultaneously under threat and yet becoming more critical than ever. It's not that we don't understand some government observance (spot attacks early and protect lives) or business interest (better products, more personalization), it's that there's a woefully thin line between use and abuse, and privacy should not be a privilege: we as humans need it to live and thrive. We need privacy to feel safe, to have power over our own selves, and to exercise freedoms of thought and choice without fear or vulnerability from the community around us.

An international effort to raise privacy awareness, Data Privacy Day  on January 28th is an excellent time to reflect why we need privacy, and learn how to protect it. If you respect or value privacy, it gives an outlet to stand up, even if simply on social media, to say how this is important to you. If you want to know more about privacy, including laws, studies, technology and what we as individuals and organizations can do, it's the perfect time. Thanks to the power of blogging, updates, trends, helpful advice and concerns for the future are but a click away. As a highlight for Data Privacy Day, here are ten organizations, bloggers and websites from across the globe to get you started:

1. Data Privacy Asia  

A yearly privacy conference with the latest even held this past November in Singapore, while the website is primarily to draw conference awareness it also a good starting point on privacy issues within Asia. Includes video of the last conference, a mailing list, and a news aggregation of privacy issues.

2. The Australia Privacy Foundation

Dedicated to protecting the privacy rights of Australians, and focus attention on emerging issues. The APF focuses on working towards legislation that gives real privacy safeguards, developing industry codes and participating in Global efforts towards internet safety.

3. Proskaueh’s Privacy Law Blog

Run by the Proskaueh team out of New York, this regularly updated blog takes a look at privacy issues and legal challenges across the globe. A quick check at the “Topics” menu will provide an idea of how robust is their knowledge on international privacy news and legislation.

4. Privacy International

A London-based charity that investigates government surveillance, Privacy International is very clear on how important its members and volunteers take world privacy, including explanations of privacy terms, reports, and submissions to the U.N. The site keeps tabs on international privacy in the news in a big way.

5. The Canadian Privacy Law Blog

Run by leading privacy lawyer David Fraser, this blog keeps up to date PIPEDA and Canadian privacy law. Includes David’s own detailed insights from working in the Canadian courts, legislation, and an excellent resource list; everything you need to get started with privacy in Canada!

6. Mondaq Middle East & Africa: Privacy

I’m still searching to find out what happened to Privacy South Africa’s site, but in the meantime Mondaq provides a good aggregation of privacy articles and news with a focus on Africa and the Middle East. A mix of video and links to articles from international news outlets, and an English-language reader’s guide into the region’s privacy practices.

7. Schneier on Security

Internationally renown security guru Bruce Schneier looks at the whole scheme of technology, security, and where we fit. Favourite posts include The Eternal Value of Privacy, and you know someone is serious about protection when their search engine is powered by DuckDuckGo.

8. Global Privacy & Security Compliance Law Blog

Run by Latham & Watkins LLP, this privacy law blog covers privacy legal challenges and guidance from around the world, fitting for a firm with 2100 attorneys across the globe. If you're looking for updates on the legal framework of privacy between China, the E.U and Dubai, this site is worth keeping an eye on.

9. Privacy International Japan

The organization established in 1994, PIJ is a not-for-profit that acts as a watchdog on data surveillance, and has drafted bills & legislation in Japan. Not to be confused with the American news network, PIJ publishes a quarterly newsletter, CNN News, for Citizens Network agains National ID Numbers.

10. The International Association of Privacy Professionals

Want to take on privacy management and support as part of your career? The International Association of Privacy Professionals is a great place to get started, with resources and certification programs. Full disclosure, this blog author is a CIPT graduate; if you want to better improve your privacy knowledge, I’d certainly recommend the training.

The above sites are of course, only the tip of the iceberg for getting informed on current privacy issues. While privacy will be facing some heavy challenges in 2017, it helps to see who has your back and can point you in the right direction to keep informed. If you know an organization or individual who's privacy site is not listed above, feel free to mention in the comments below. Happy Data Privacy Day!

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