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Egyptian House approves draft law to protect personal data

Mon, Feb. 24, 2020
CAIRO – 24 February 2020: The Egyptian House of Representatives on Monday gave a final approval to a draft law proposed by the Cabinet that seeks to protect personal data by a two-thirds majority.

The law prohibits gathering or processing individuals’ personal data or spreading them by any means without the permission of the concerned individuals, except in cases authorized legally.

The law will be imposed on Egyptians inside the country and expatriates alike. It will be also enforced on non-Egyptians inside and outside Egypt as long as the data in question belong to Egyptian citizens or foreigners staying inside Egypt.

Violators of the law will be punished by a minimum of one year imprisonment and a fine of not more than LE 1 million ($64,222) and not less than LE 100,000 ($6,422), according to a statement released by the Cabinet earlier.

The law protects citizens’ fully or partially electronically treated personal data. It aims to raise the level of data security inside the country and to organize electronic marketing activities and data transfer, according to the statement.

The law will formulate obligations on both the data controller and the data processor as two of the active elements when dealing with personal data, whether by collecting, transferring, exchanging, storing, analyzing, or processing data in any way.



Securing privacy rights

Egyptian law criminalizes activities, including violations of an individual’s private life without their permission, and sentences the violator to prison in case he is proven guilty.

Taking photos of a person in a private place, transmitting a conversation in a private place or overhearing a telephone conversation without permission may lead to a prison sentence of up to a year, according to Egypt’s penal code (309 bis, 309 bis A).

Moreover, an individual convicted of blackmailing someone by threatening to release their private conversation may face a prison sentence of up to five years.

The law also criminalizes the use of modern technology to commit such violations against an individual’s will, and orders the confiscation of the equipment used, and the subsequent deletion or destruction of recordings.
 
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