Data Privacy Heat Map highlights challenges of navigating global privacy legislations

Guest post from Researcher Chris Sherman.

Data privacy laws are the champions of citizens' rights in the digital age. However, multi-national  organizations often find these laws challenging to navigate given the complex framework of global legal requirements. To help our clients address these challenges, Forrester developed a research and planning tool called the Data Privacy Heat Map (try the demo version here). Leveraging in-depth analyses on the privacy legislation of 54 countries around the world, this product is aimed at helping our clients better strategize their own global privacy and data protection approaches.

Using the tool, one can quickly determine how various countries stack up against each another in terms of their data privacy standards. Each country has been rated across seven key criteria, covering the breadth of law, EU adequacy, data transfer limitations, government surveillance activities, etc. Leveraging this data, our clients will be able to establish their own data privacy “high watermarks”, ensuring compliance in all locales in which their organization operates. One such application is in the use of cloud computing. Since the cloud is borderless, jurisdictional-based privacy laws are often a mismatch when applied to clouds. When considering outsourcing to a cloud service, companies should consult Forrester’s Privacy Heat Map to determine, for example, whether their data will be at risk of residing in a country with questionable governance surveillance practices.

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