Privacy of information in different cultures

What is privacy?

Data privacy refers to the relationship between technology and the legal rights to sharing and collecting of data.

What is Sensitive Personal Data?

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 Sensitive Personal Data is defined in specific ways as set out below:
(a) Racial or Ethnic Origin
(b) Political Opinions or Persuasion
(c) Religious Beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature
(d) Trade Union Membership or Affiliation
(e) Physical or Mental Health or Condition
(f) Sexual Life
(g) Commissioned or Alleged Commission of Offences
(h) Any proceedings for any offence, committed or alleged, including any sentencing decisions made by the Court

Are the privacy laws same for different countries and cultures?

Different countries operate in different ways, such as United Kingdom would have a different set of rules for its data storage compared to United States and the Asian Countries. For example, the European Union has its own set of rules and regulations compared to other countries. The European Union tends to have stricter regulations, where as United States are more liberal on their standards of storing data about people (Baase, 2003). United States has laws on some areas such as medical, video rental and more, however not in all personal data (Baase, 2003).

Area of Impact: Business and employment

Definition of personal data in Business:

According to perot systems Business Personal Data means ‘data that is reasonably necessary to be known or disclosed for’ usually associated with him or her performing his job properly and efficiently or to be lawfully evaluated to work. Business personal data information always includes the associates name, age, work experience, other job performances; usually include their university and high school diplomas and also their job specification. Most businesses also require their financial account for security. They also require contact details such as mobile numbers, home addresses and email addresses.

Issue 1 – Some businesses don’t follow the laws specified for data protection in other countries.

For example, Perot Systems they have stated that ‘There are no country specific exceptions to this policy’ which means that the businesses are not looking at other ethnic and cultures and how their information is being used. For example, if a business is located in England therefore the business would follow its Data Privacy Act and not the other countries, this can be an issue as there are many people who are concerned about cultures and can be affected by this. Different countries have different laws to data privacy and some people may not be too happy about giving out their information to a large extent. However, some businesses like Cap Gemini; a business consulting group which work for Professional Local Services have stated on their data Policy page that they do send information out to different countries however do follow the laws and regulations of that specific country.

Issue 2 – Outsourcing personal data into different countries.

This concerns, outsourcing as companies overseas may have different set of policies that those of the company originally holding customer data. The problem with this is that data can be found in different countries without the company knowing anything about it (Robert Frances Group, 2001). The solution to this should be that, there should be rules concerning those companies and individuals should be acknowledging before their data is sent out.

Area of Impact – Entertainment and Leisure

Issue 1 – Collecting Information without the person knowing

This happens a lot in supermarkets which have introduced Loyalty cards and Other promotional cards which automatically take in personal information and data about ones buys and what they are most interested. However this is considered unethical as people wouldn’t want to know what information from them is taken rather than just having it taken without the opposing person knowing. Everyday excess amount of information is taken in and put into databases that link each other to what he or she’s actions are. Loyalty cards are a good example of this. Sure, there are benefits to this such as people who control the data can benefit by stocking out more of what the customer likes, however, customers who wouldn’t really want people to know what their buying might be unhappy about this. It allows data processers to control and collect a lot of unnecessary data which then could be sold out to other people. Furthermore, people have no idea about what is happening to their information, and who gets to access them.

Overall Analysis

From the evidence I collected I say that obviously for one, that different countries have different privacy regulations compared to others, and their limit to privacy is different compared to different countries. When information is collected there are different levels of privacy in different countries and this affects people directly, as some people wouldn’t want their information to be leaked out, incase if it does. Nevertheless, there will always be some laws against the protection of data however to different levels. This idea is similar in every area of impact as it does not matter what information is protected or leaked out its how much it is kept private and how much information someone should be giving. The most unique thing about the areas of impact is that additionally everyone has to give some sort of information to the different areas of impact, such as hospital require a full medical report however a business wouldn't require that much information about their health. However businesses would require money evaluations of their employees where as hospitals wouldn't require this. Businesses require information, however this is done by the associated compared to Supermarkets where data is taken in insensitively.


Yes. This issue is a global issue as the world is more multicultural now and countries are developing, however countries are still keeping their cultures in place. In the long term this can be quite harmful as people are very different all around the world. The most important issue is in the health, I believe as it affects everybody on the whole. Nobody would want their personal information to be given out. The most important issue which would be taken into consideration according to me is the security issue, as the internet is very open and if personal data is stored onto this can leak into the real world from the virtual world.