In 1995, conscious both of the shortcomings of law, and the many differences in the level of protection in each of its States, the European Union passed a Europe-wide directive which will provide citizens with a wider range of protections over abuses of their data. The directive on the [Protection of Individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data] sets a benchmark for national law. Each EU State must pass complementary legislation by October 1998. The Directive also imposes an obligation on member States to ensure that the personal information relating to European citizens is covered by law when it is exported to, and processed in, countries outside Europe. This requirement has resulted in growing pressure outside Europe for the passage of privacy laws. More than forty countries now have data protection or information privacy laws. More are in the process of being enacted.