After Privacy: The Rise of Facebook, The Fall of WikiLeaks, and Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act 2012

This article discusses the changing ways in which information is produced, stored, and shared—exemplified by the rise of social-networking sites like Facebook and controversies over the activities of WikiLeaks—and the implications for privacy and data protection. Legal protections of privacy have always been reactive, but the coherence of any legal regime has also been undermined by the lack of a strong theory of what privacy is. There is more promise in the narrower field of data protection.

Singapore, which does not recognise a right to privacy, has positioned itself as an e-commerce hub but had no law on data protection until the passage of the Personal Data Protection Act 2012. The passage of that law suggests the possibilities and limitations of an approach to data protection that eschews both the European Union’s privacy-rights-based approach and the ad hoc sectoral patches that characterise the U.S. approach to the subject.

Simon Chesterman, “After Privacy: The Rise of Facebook, The Fall of WikiLeaks, and Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act 2012[2012] Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 391-415.

Available in full on the Singapore Journal of Legal Studies Web site.