Few Asian Businesses Think Data Privacy Regulation Limits Commercial Opportunities

Asian executives are more likely to view data privacy regulation as a benefit to their business, rather than a burden, according to a new report published by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

In a survey of 360 executives conducted for the report, those who believe that national data privacy regulation is a benefit outnumber those who say it is a burden by 3 to 2 (cited by 33% and 20% respectively).

The results, however, do depend on local context. In Singapore almost one-half (48%) of executives say regulation is a benefit while the equivalent number in Hong Kong is less than half of that (22%).

These are among the key findings of Finding their way: Corporates, governments and data privacy in Asia, which examines the views of business on data privacy regulation in the region.

Overall, only one-third (33%) of Asian executives agree that data privacy regulations limit corporate opportunities, but again the numbers vary according to jurisdiction.

For instance, almost twice as many executives in Singapore (42%) believe current policies are a barrier to growth as in India (22%).

It is likely that perceived levels of enforcement within countries play a role as companies in a weak environment may take advantage of this at the expense of consumers. In fact, three-quarters (75%) of Indian executives say consumers in their country don’t seem to care about data privacy, which encourages aggressive companies to take risks.

Just 59% of Asian executives believe government regulators in their country have a high level of knowledge about data privacy regulations. In India only 38% of executives cite a high level of awareness among regulators.


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