A digital divide is opening up in the way data are regulated in emerging and advanced economies. Developments in China and India have exposed the challenges posed when technology outpaces privacy and data protection. As the gold rush for consumer data intensifies, the need for an even playing field for technology companies across multiple markets is becoming clearer. So too is the imperative to protect consumers in the developing world. China is developing a system to predict crimes before they happen by tracking the behaviour of citizens and using facial recognition, mostly on CCTV, to identify their whereabouts. Four provinces already shame jaywalkers by projecting CCTV footage and personal details on to public screens, underlining China’s march towards an omnipresent surveillance state. While the state is unconstrained, a new data protection law does, however, limit intrusion by private companies. In India, the government has argued that privacy is not a fundamental right, in a c...

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