Although the United States enacted the one of the first data protection laws, many Americans are suspicious of European data protection regulations. The U.S. and Japan are notable exceptions to the modern trend toward comprehensive informational privacy regulation. European data protection laws are stricter, more comprehensive, and more bureaucratic than non-European counterparts. Newer regulatory models, such as those introduced in Australia, provide an acceptable compromise between the American self-regulatory approach and the comprehensive European approach. Australia has a federal agency responsible for administering its information privacy laws and is moving towards a co-regulatory approach between government and the private sector.
Paul Kelly, Recent Developments in Private Sector Personal Data Protection in Australia: Will There Be an Upside Down Under, 19 J. Marshall J. Computer & Info. L. 71 (2000)