Mongolia’s unique data privacy law completes coverage of Central Asia

Graham Greenleaf, PL&B’s Asia Pacific Editor, and Tamar Kaldani, Deputy Chair of the Council of Europe’s Convention 108 Consultative Committee, assess the law’s GDPR-like elements, and prospects for enforcement.

The Law of Mongolia on the Protection of Personal Information, enacted in November 2021, and coming into force on 1 May 2022, marks the last country in Central Asia to enact a data privacy law.

Mongolia and its neighbours

Mongolia is a land-locked country situated between China and Russia, and its history has always been intertwined with those countries, and with the five other countries of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan). It was considered to be an integral part of that history, particularly when the overland Silk Road was the only known route between Europe and China. Mongolia’s history and culture diverged from the other Central Asian countries. Unlike five central Asian states, its predominant religion has been a version of Tibetan Buddhism since the 1700s and it was never part of the Russian Empire or the USSR. However, Mongolia was the first communist state to be formed after Russia and was ruled by a brutal dictatorship(1) from 1924 until its collapse (along with the Soviet Union) in 1990.

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