Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 8-1-2021

Publication Citation

28 Indiana J. Global Legal Studies 267 (2021)


National data privacy regimes are quickly gaining traction and ubiquity around the globe. Moving forward, countries will face a range of difficult decisions surrounding how best to engage internationally in cross border data flow, particularly in the context of personal information (PI).

This article takes a bird's-eye view of the current state of data privacy regimes in the world's four highest GDP regions. In part, this article hopes to provide a succinct analysis of these data privacy regimes, with a focus on the balance they strike between granting individuals rights in their data and placing responsibilities on businesses that deal with PI. Analyzing the world's most economically active countries provides an opportunity to highlight the substantial benefits that data privacy regimes can provide the world's citizens while balancing these benefits against the potential negative economic impact of data privacy regimes. This proposition motivated this article's choice of regions to survey.

Section I provides an overview of the current state of data privacy legislation and regulation in the United States, China, Japan, and the European Union. Section II outlines the drawbacks to some of the common themes that emerge from these surprisingly similar regulatory frameworks. Section III explores the benefits data privacy regimes offer to individuals. Section IV proposes potential solutions to this emerging global governance conundrum.