Simon Davies of Privacy International writes:
2011 has been an odd sort of year for privacy. There have been some deeply worrying trends around the globe and yet in some respects a gentle corner might have been turned. Amidst the litany of horror stories there may be better times ahead for some aspects of privacy protection. This year saw greater consistency in privacy reform, rather than a random downward spiral.
To summarise: 2011 was the year that privacy rights on social media reached a crescendo, Google started on the long path to recovering its halo, and geo-location, third party apps and face recognition became a bigger threat in the public mind than many elements of government intrusion. It was the year when South America and Asia began moving incrementally toward awareness of privacy and when Europe started to reveal its substantial fallibilities and conflicts. And in terms of awareness and impact, 2011 could be regarded as the year when privacy – in a way similar to environmental protection decades previously – shifted globally from a “topic” to a policy platform.