New Egypt Data Protection Law – Are you ready?

Photo: Al Tamimi & Company

Ayman Nour and Youssef Salam from our Egypt office wrote an article titled ‘A Step in the Right Direction - Draft Data Protection Law in Egypt’ in the June – July 2019 edition of Al Tamimi’s magazine, Law Update, heralding the approval by the Cabinet of a draft data protection law in Egypt. Unfortunately, some news outlets have incorrectly reported that the law has been enacted, creating considerable confusion in the market. As highlighted in our article above, the law is currently in draft form as it must first be reviewed and promulgated by the Egyptian Parliament.

Our current understanding is that the Legislative Committee has already made some amendments to the draft law by removing penalties of imprisonment, however the authorities have not officially confirmed this. Also, it is quite possible that Parliament may make further changes to the draft law, though we expect its key principles will be preserved.

Timing

The draft law is expected to be enacted some time during the present parliamentary session that has just commenced. The draft law states that it will come into force three months from the date of its enactment, though in practice the law would not become fully applicable until the executive regulations are issued (the draft law contemplates that the executive regulations will be issued within six months of the enactment of the law itself).

Importantly, the draft law provides entities a grace period of one year to comply with its provisions.

Next Steps

  • We will inform you as soon as the law is enacted by Parliament.
  • In the meantime, we suggest that you take this time and the grace period to put the necessary policies and technical and operational measures in place with a view to ensuring your business is compliant by the time the law comes in to force.
  • We would be happy to assist you should you require further advice in relation to the draft law or help with the necessary privacy related policies and data protection / transfer agreements.

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