Parliament approves in principle Personal Data Protection draft law 

Fatma Lotfi
3 Min Read

Egypt’s House of Representatives initially approved on Sunday legislation protecting personal data submitted by the cabinet.

Earlier, the parliament discussed a report prepared by a joint committee from the committees of communications and information technology, constitutional and legislative affairs, planning and budgeting, as well as defence and national security. 

In March, the parliament referred the draft law to the joint committee to debate it, which has made some amendments and approved the law.

The law aims at “obliging the institutions, bodies, and individuals in charge of personal data to appoint an official to be responsible for protecting personal data inside their institutions,” according to the report.

Article No. 2 of the law prohibited the collecting, processing, or disclosing personal data at any means unless having “explicit consent” from the individual concerned or in the conditions which are legally authorised. 

Article No. 19 stipulates that a Giza based general economic authority named “the centre of protecting personal data,” to be established, intending to protect personal data and regulate its availability and procession. Other branches could be established in all governates.

This authority will develop strategic plans, policies, and programmes required to protect personal data, and it will coordinate with all governmental and non-governmental bodies to ensure applying measures to protect personal data.

The authority will include representatives from the Ministries of Justice, Foreign Affairs, General Intelligence, and the Administrative Control Authority, according to Article No. 20. 

Articles No. 35, 36, 37 state that whoever collects, process, or discloses personal data without the consent of the individual concerned in other conditions that are legally authorised shall be fined with less than EGYP100,000 and not exceed EGP1m. 

Meanwhile, whoever commits the previous offense in return for material or literary benefit, shall be imprisoned no less than six months or fined no less than EGP200,000 and not exceed EGP2m or given both punishments.

On August 2018, the cabinet approved the draft on protecting personal data, which aims to upgrade the levels of protecting personal data inside the state and regulate data across borders as well as electronic marketing. 

The Parliament began on Sunday until Tuesday to discuss several other laws and amendments on the law No. 8 of 2015 organising the Lists of Terrorists and Terrorist Entities (commonly known as the Terrorist Entities Law), as well as laws on the performance of the Authority of the Grand Egyptian Museum and the Authority of the National Museum for Egyptian Civilisation. 

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A journalist in DNE's politics section with more than six years of experience in print and digital journalism, focusing on local political issues, terrorism and human rights. She also writes features on women issues and culture.