Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
12 March 2021
MCIT Holds Community Discussions with MNOs, Tech Companies on Personal Data Protection Law Executive Regulations

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) has held community dialogues with local and international technology companies operating in Egypt, Mobile Network Operators  (MNOs) and sectors concerned with implementing the provisions of the Personal Data Protection Law. This comes in MCIT keenness to raise awareness and hold discussions on the provisions of the Law and ways to implement them through simple procedures included in the executive regulations implementing the Law, which will be passed soon.

The dialogues were held in the presence of the Assistant ICT Minister for Global Information Infrastructure (GII) Mohamed Nasr Eldin, and the committee for drafting the executive regulations, headed by counselor Joseph Edward.

The representatives of companies discussed a number of proposals on how best to obtain licenses, permits and approvals from the personal data protection center that will be established soon. MCIT stressed its keenness to facilitate the procedures for obtaining licenses through a single integrated process, in line with the licensee’s objectives, with standards measurable and suitable to all sectors addressed with the provisions of the Law, with their different activities.

During the dialogues, the inquiries of startups and small enterprises were responded to. MCIT underlined the significance of protecting citizens’ data in a way that does not hinder the growth of business, within the framework of the strategic State vision for the development of startups and small and medium-sized industries.

In response to inquiries on the criteria for appointing data protection officers at companies, and how to ensure their work efficiency, MCIT stated that awareness seminars and training courses will be carried out to build the capabilities of responsible officers at the companies addressed with the provisions of the Law, during the period legally established, to reconcile the companies status in accordance with the provisions of the Law and what it obligates.

It was also announced that mechanisms will be made available to communicate with MCIT to listen to all visions and complete discussions as part of the work to complete drafting the executive regulations implementing the Personal Data Protection Law, as soon as possible.

It is worth noting that the President of the Republic passed Law No. 151 of 2020 on personal data protection in July 2020. The Law is in line with the best international practices, especially the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Law represents an important step toward furthering MCIT efforts in introducing data center industry in Egypt and creating a safe environment for the circulation of information in cyberspace.

The Law aims to protect Egyptians’ personal data through a legislative framework that governs the relationship between data controllers and users, and sets mechanisms for regulating the use of personal data in online advertising and marketing, and the digital environment at large. The said framework, in addition, criminalizes processing data in ways not conforming to the purposes authorized by data owners; and obligates data collectors and processors to obtain the necessary licenses, permits and approvals to conduct their work.

MCIT held several meetings with local and major international companies operating in the ICT sector in Egypt, including Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and the four MNOs in  Egypt. MCIT is keen to engage the members of the House of Representatives’ ICT Committee, as well as the medical, educational, commercial and other sectors addressed with the provisions of the Law, in extensive discussions to listen to their visions on the terms and conditions of the Law, and how best to implement its provisions.

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