Egypt has finally launched its own set of data regulation laws. In a digital era where privacy violations and data abuse is rampant, every nation needs a stringent set of data protection laws to ensure their citizens' safety and security.
The data protection laws were approved on Monday, June 17 and they shall apply to all the citizens of Egypt and European Union citizens in Egypt. It is revealed that the regulations passed by Egypt contain a set of requirements and provisions with regard to processing personal data.
According to the regulation, any data that can be used to identify an individual either directly or indirectly is deemed as personal data. For instance, names or photographs that can identify a person’s socioeconomic conditions or cultural conditions is deemed personal data by the Egyptian government. Similarly, the regulation considers information revealing religion, physical and mental health conditions and political opinion to be sensitive personal data.
Any company found to collect such personal and sensitive personal data without obtaining prior consent, the punishment includes imprisonment for a duration less than three months and a fine ranging between EGP 100,000 to EGP 1,000,000. According to Article 14 of the regulation, if any entity is found sharing data with a foreign country, they shall be fined anywhere between EGP 300,000 to EGP 3,000,000. (Around $18,000 to $180,000)
Also, according to the second article of the regulation, collection, storage, transfer, and processing of sensitive personal data without a written consent is prohibited.
In August 2018, Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mr. Amr Talaat, a former computer scientist and business executive had announced that the cabinet had approved a draft of data protection legislation.
He said that if the laws were approved, they would be establishing a data protection agency under the name, “Center for Protecting Personal Data” which would be hosted by the Information Technology Industry Development Authority.