Top 5 Countries With the Worst Online Privacy (2023 Edition)
Many of us think that if we send a “private message,” it’s already private enough. What we don’t know is that many entities are watching over our every move. Yes, your internet service provider (ISP) and your government keeps record of your online activity. It might be for your own protection, too but doesn’t it make you feel uncomfortable?
You might think that it’s challenging – if not impossible – to stay private nowadays. But actually, there are a couple of ways on how you can stay private online. Take using a VPN for example. If you use a VPN or a Virtual Private Network, no one would have a clue about your internet traffic. Not even your ISP, your government, or even Google would know what you’re up to.
What is online privacy?
Online privacy is quite a broad term but is kind of self-explanatory. Putting the words “online” and “privacy” together, you’d know what it means. In your understanding of online privacy, it could just be to prevent hackers and cyber-criminals to snoop on you. However, it could be more than that.
Did you know that for everything you do online, Google has a way on capturing your activity? Did you know that your ISP is keeping track of your internet traffic? Yes, they keep records of what you search for and what websites you visit.
So, online privacy is not just protecting yourself from threat. Online privacy is also the act of keeping your information just to yourself.
There are countries which are considered “the best” when it comes to online privacy. While there are also countries that when it comes to privacy, they flunk. In the event that you’ll be visiting a country that has the worst online privacy, make sure that you’re protected.
Note, though, that the criteria in judging had a few factors. These factors range from a political level to medical and financial surveillance. Nevertheless, the factors that had the most impact are:
- Visual surveillance
- Press freedom
- Sharing of data
Here are the top 5 countries with the worst online privacy.
China has been ranked to be the country with the worst online privacy. Other than the fact that they have a centralized national firewall, they have a facial recognition system that captures the identity of people for the sole purpose of controlling their online behavior.
Also, it has been reported that in 2020, things are going to change for its citizens. A national social credit surveillance will be deployed to check how their citizens are handling their money.
It’s like a nightmare for people who yearn for privacy. Every action their citizens will do, it’s going to be monitored. Hundreds of millions of their population are internet users – can you just imagine if they were to be controlled?
Next on the list would be Malaysia. It might seem a bit odd but they do not have a constitutional protection for privacy. Malaysia’s known to be a country who controls its citizens in terms of online activity.
Not just that, they also have the Communications and Multimedia ACT (CMA). This act is used to block websites that oppose their government. Moreover, they punish radio stations that expose corruption and people who share their opinions.
Clearly, what the Malaysian government’s trying to do is that they’re restricting their citizens. They want full-control over what their citizens do and say over the internet.
In Russia, there’s no constitution that protects a citizen’s privacy over the internet. In fact, Russian laws state that no citizen should be anonymous online. Therefore, people who want to criticize the government should use his or her name.
Furthermore, the Russian government can access everything. From social media posts, emails, even private messages, for them to be able to track criminal activities.
Russian telecommunication companies are required to keep record of customer information for six months. Plus, they’re also required to store any communication related to that data for three whole years.
We all know that Singapore is one of the countries who offer the best bandwidth connection. But do they value privacy? Singaporean intelligence agencies have the ability to access data from their citizens. These include emails, internet activity, even private messages.
They’re so powerful that if a government agency demands information, no type of warrant is needed. In addition to that, their government also invests heavily in surveillance. Their citizens are open to privacy invasion and this is why criminal levels in Singapore are low.
Online privacy is so bad that information stored in their database is accurate. They can use it to match faces to people through their online activity.
Didn’t you expect a Western country to be part of the list? Well, England does not have a right of privacy written in its constitution. Therefore, their citizens cannot fully rely on protection laws in their right to privacy. The state has implemented an act that would make reporters criminals if they act as whistleblowers to the English government.
With this, the media has since then became afraid to question the English royalty.
If you weren’t aware, England is filled with surveillance. Literally every move that an English citizen makes is captured and stored. For online privacy, they have weak English enforcement agencies. These agencies don’t have the ability to audit data.
It’s just as bad as having no right to express your ideas and opinions about the government.
These are the countries that are controlling when it comes to online privacy. In the event that you find yourself in one of these countries, be sure that you’re protected. Use a tool that would allow you to do whatever you do back home.
Your activity is something that should be private that even the government should not see. So long as you’re not breaking any rules and policies, you should be left alone. The problem with online privacy nowadays is that the government thinks that everyone is against them. This then leads to some of the most ridiculous policies in terms of internet privacy.