As data flows between countries with disparate data protection laws, firms need to ensure the safety of their customer and employee data through regulatory compliance and due diligence. However, multinational organizations often find global data privacy laws exceedingly challenging. To help our clients address these challenges, Forrester developed a research and planning tool called the Data Privacy Heat Map (try the demo version\u00a0here). Originally published in 2010, the tool leverages in-depth analyses of the privacy-related laws and cultures of 54 countries around the world, helping our clients better strategize their own global privacy and data protection approaches.\tRegulation in the data privacy arena is far from static. In the year since we last updated the heat map, we have seen many changes to how countries around the world view and enforce data privacy. Forrester has tracked and rated each of these 54 countries across seven different metrics directly within the tool. Among them, seven countries had their ratings change over the past year. Some of the most significant changes corporations are concerned with involve:\t\t\tNew national omnibus data privacy laws spanning private and\/or public industry.\u00a0Data privacy regulation, when looked at globally, forms a spectrum of maturity beginning with spotty industry or situation-specific laws all the way to omnibus frameworks. As you might expect, responsible corporations prefer to engage in business practices where the data privacy laws are clearly-defined and transparent. For instance, countries such as Brazil and China are in the process of moving towards potential omnibus laws which will replace a multitude of sectoral and situation-based laws. Other countries, such as Colombia and Singapore, have recently passed far-reaching omnibus laws, also replacing a patchwork of prior sectoral laws.\t\t\tAdequacy findings published by the EU\u2019s Article 29 Working Party.\u00a0Corporations either based in the EU or wishing to conduct business there must comply with the standards put forth through the EU\u2019s strict\u00a0Data Protection Directive\u00a0whenever data is transferred outside its borders. This can be an arduous process, especially when\u00a0model clauses\u00a0or\u00a0Binding Corporate Rules\u00a0come into play. Fortunately, this process can be greatly simplified whenever data is transferred from the EU to a country which the\u00a0Article 29 Working Party\u00a0deems has an \u201cadequate\u201d level of data protection measures. Organizations and governments alike benefit greatly whenever a country has been granted adequacy status. Currently, 13\u00a0\u201cthird party\u201d\u00a0countries have been given this coveted status -- in 2012 alone, Uruguay, Israel, and New Zealand were added to this list. This allows an organization to transfer data between the EU and those countries deemed as adequate without fear of reprisal.\t\t\tExcessive government surveillance.\u00a0Corporations worry that placing data within the borders of a state with high levels of governmental surveillance could place their customer and intellectual property at risk. While China and Singapore have passed a significant number of new data privacy laws during the past year, both have long histories of unregulated governmental surveillance practices. Corporations working within the borders of Mexico also worry about a\u00a02012 Mexican law\u00a0that gives the government unrestricted access to mobile geolocation data provided by the carriers. Within the EU, Sweden passed a new\u00a02012 data retention law\u00a0in line with the EU Data Retention Directive, giving the Swedish government broad surveillance capabilities.\tBecause information is a powerful business asset, modern businesses need to have the know-how to operate in this increasingly global economy. Forrester sees this Data Privacy Heat Map as a valuable source of information for our clients and is committed to updating the map on an ongoing basis. Forrester also provides strategic consulting services to help organizations navigate data security and privacy issues at every step of the information lifecycle. To hear more about the Data Privacy Heat Map tool, read our privacy-related research, find out more about our privacy consulting services, or discuss privacy issues in general, visit\u00a0www.forrester.com\/rb\/srm\u00a0or reach out to us (@ChrisShermanFR\u00a0and\u00a0@xmlgrrl) on Twitter.