Guide to Egypt’s Personal Data Protection Law (PDPL)

In this guide:

  1. Summary of Egypt’s PDPL
  2. Guide your business to compliance
  3. Protect yourself using Privacy Bee

Summary of Egypt’s Personal Data Protection Law (PDPL)

Egypt’s Law on the Protection of Personal Data (more commonly referred to as the Personal Data Protection Law or PDPL) came into force in 2020 and is the first comprehensive law in Egypt to regulate the collection, processing and transfer of personal data. It is modeled after the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as is the case with many data protection regulations around the world.

The PDPL applies to all entities that process the personal data of individuals located in Egypt, regardless of whether the entity is located in Egypt or not. Along with this extraterritorial scope, the law defines “personal data” as any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual. This includes, but is not limited to name, address, date of birth, contact information, financial information and health information.

Specifically, individuals located in Egypt are granted the following rights:

  • The right to access their personal data.
  • The right to correct or erase their personal data.
  • The right to restrict or object to the processing of their personal data.
  • The right to be informed of any data breach or violation of their data protection rights.

Individuals can exercise their rights under Egypt’s PDPL by contacting the data controller that is processing their personal data. If the data controller does not comply with the individual’s request, the individual can file a complaint with the Egyptian Data Protection Authority (DPA).

In addition to the aforementioned rights, the PDPL imposes a number of obligations on entities that process personal data. Organizations must:

  • Obtain the consent of the individual before processing their personal data.
  • Limit the collection and processing of personal data to what is necessary for the specific purpose listed when it was collected.
  • Ensure that personal data is accurate, up-to-date and secure.
  • Provide individuals with access to their personal data and the right to have it corrected or erased.
  • Report data breaches to the Egyptian authorities and affected individuals within 72 hours.
  • Appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) if the entity processes a large amount of personal data or sensitive personal data.
  • Maintain a record of data processing activities.
  • Implement appropriate security measures across the organization to protect personal data from unauthorized access.

Under Egypt’s PDPL, sensitive data is defined as any data that discloses psychological, mental, physical, or genetic health data, biometric data, financial data, religious beliefs, political opinions, or security conditions and children’s data regardless of type.

Cross-border data transfers are also prohibited without the consent of the individual, unless certain exceptions apply. The PDPL establishes a number of offenses and penalties for violations of the law. Penalties include fines of up to EGP 5 million and imprisonment of up to three years.

This legislation is a significant step forward in the fight to protect the privacy of individuals in Egypt. The law imposes a number of obligations on entities that process personal data and gives individuals a number of rights over their personal data. The law is still relatively new, but it is expected to have a major impact on the way that personal data is collected, processed and transferred in Egypt.

Source: Unofficial English Translation of the Original Text in Arabic

Guide your business to compliance

There are numerous significant impacts for businesses to consider when working to remain compliant with the PDPL. The law regulates any organization doing business with consumers located in Egypt, meaning there’s a greater need for transparency regarding how an individual’s personal data is collected and used. Plus, data subjects, or those individuals whose data is being collected, must be given the opportunity to opt out of having their personal data processed for a non-essential purpose.

Businesses must also implement appropriate technical and organizational security measures to protect personal data from unauthorized access, use, disclosure or destruction. This may involve investing in new technologies and security measures, such as data encryption and access controls.

To ensure compliance and avoid legal repercussions including hefty fines, businesses need to:

  1. Establish consent mechanisms: Review and, if necessary, update consent mechanisms to align with the law’s requirements.
  2. Conduct a data mapping exercise: Document data flows and track how data moves through your organization, including its collection, storage, and sharing. Consider using a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) for high-risk processing activities.
  3. Develop clear policies and procedures: The actions needed for data retention, data subject rights, breach response, and more must be straightforward for all involved.
  4. Train employees: Threat actors are constantly innovating, so employees must be made aware and updated on data protection policies along with their role in maintaining compliance and avoiding a data breach.
  5. Display privacy notices prominently: To ensure consumers are informed, a privacy notice should be easy to find and inform individuals about the organization’s data processing activities, their rights, and (if applicable) how to contact your organization’s DPO.
  6. Ensure data subject rights are respected: Establish procedures for handling data subject access requests (DSARs), like accessing or erasing an individual’s held personal data.
  7. Collect only necessary data and then protect it: Use data encryption, access and governance controls, and regular compliance audits to protect consumer data, at minimum.
  8. Record all efforts and create a data breach response plan: Just in case anything does go awry, record everything so it’s easier to demonstrate careful stewardship and inform stakeholders like the Egyptian DPA and customers when necessary.

While these recommendations will take some effort across the organization, implementing effective processes and procedures can lift an organization long term. Laws like this one are put into place to protect people, so organizations that embrace it while going above and beyond will be able to show clear differentiation from the competition.

Thus via an increased focus on implementing effective data privacy measures, businesses can turn requirements into several positive impacts:

  1. Increase trust with customers.
  2. Reduce the risk of data breaches.
  3. Improve the overall security of the organization.

Every company should be aware that the requirements in the PDPL likely impose some additional costs and burdens. But those businesses that invest in new technologies and proper security measures to do this will be a step ahead.

Protect yourself using Privacy Bee

Safeguarding personal information and educating internal users about data handling has become an absolute necessity for businesses engaged in delivering online services. Across the globe, a wave of new regulations are emerging, demanding stricter opt-in and opt-out policies and granting consumers with more powerful rights. This shift allows individuals the ability to scrutinize and delete their personal data, facilitating greater accountability for organizations when it comes to data protection.

Despite the proliferation of these regulations, the primary responsibility for data protection still rests on the individual. Each person must diligently oversee, assess, and request the removal of their data scattered across the vast expanse of the internet. When scaled to encompass an entire organization, this task becomes unmanageable without professional assistance, as it is completely impractical to expect a single person or a small team to manage these processes alone. Nevertheless, the identification and subsequent eradication of personal and sensitive data is pivotal in deterring cybercriminals to significantly reduce a company’s attack surface and mitigate the ever-present threat of a data breach.

This is precisely where Privacy Bee emerges as the optimal solution, simplifying the time-consuming process of monitoring and removing employee personal data across the internet, which can prove especially valuable for business leaders and executives with a sizable public profile at increased risk of doxxing.

Privacy Bee not only minimizes the proliferation of your organization’s personal data across the vast digital landscape but also extends its protection to vendors, helping you ensure 3rd party partners do not serve as a weak link in your security defenses. If you are already conducting risk assessments and vendor surveys, kudos to you! But it’s still essential to recognize that a vendor is most susceptible to a breach via subpar data privacy management, which you wouldn’t want to bleed into your organization.

The Privacy Bee proactive approach fights back against the exploitation of your most sensitive data, fortifying your External Data Privacy on multiple fronts.

In the billion-dollar surveillance industry, Data Brokers and People Search Sites profit by trading your organization’s information with unknown and uncontrollable entities. The consequences of private data exposure on the internet are profound and pose a significant threat in the hands of malicious hackers. A single data breach can lead to reduced productivity, costly remediation efforts, and the recurrence of breach incidents, which is a predicament plaguing the vast majority businesses following an initial breach. The first data breach sets off a chain reaction, inflicting short-term financial damage while eroding brand value and customer trust over time.

Moreover, there are ripple effects to consider, such as increased employee turnover due to poaching and a significant decline in productivity due to more sophisticated spam outreach.

Privacy Bee confronts external threat actors lurking beyond your organization’s walls. By meticulously identifying every corner of the internet where your data resides and swiftly purging it, Privacy Bee closes the data security gap. The service even encompasses dark web monitoring and provides timely data breach notifications if another organization falls victim to a cybercriminal’s efforts, as this could potentially expose your company’s information in the process.

Our unwavering commitment is deeply rooted in the belief that privacy is an inalienable human right that transcends political discourse and negotiations. This is why Privacy Bee diligently monitors user data for security vulnerabilities while holding the surveillance industry accountable. We compel Data Brokers, People Search Sites, and more than 150,000 additional websites to expunge your stored data and opt out of further data collection, ensuring that you and your company’s privacy is safeguarded indefinitely.

Privacy Bee’s protective umbrella extends over a wide range of potential threats, including:

  • Data breaches
  • Spam emails
  • Telemarketing calls
  • Cyberstalking
  • Swatting
  • Doxxing
  • Blackmail
  • Identity theft

If you’re a business leader committed to securing both employees and customers, Privacy Bee empowers you to take control of your organizations most vital employee and customer data. In this era where privacy is critical, Privacy Bee stands as your steadfast partner in the ongoing battle to preserve your personal and organizational integrity.

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