Internet Freedom Around the World Declines for 11th Consecutive Year

In Ecuador, nearly two years after a sprawling data breach revealed over 20 million people’s information, the government adopted a new data protection law in May 2021.

Germany passed similar provisions in a January 2021 Digitalization Act that grants the Federal Cartel Office greater authority to investigate companies’ behavior, with a specific mandate to ascertain whether they are denying interoperability, preinstalling apps, preventing competitors from advertising, or failing to provide users with agency to determine and understand how their data are processed.

Although monopolistic corporations and unfair market practices are just as corrosive to users’ rights in such countries as they are in democracies, several cases demonstrate the potential for competition policy to be enforced in an arbitrary or opaque manner that compels companies and prominent businesspeople to serve the leadership’s political interests, granting the government greater control over the information space and access to sensitive data.

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