[Pakistan] AIC Submits Comments on Pakistan’s Data Protection Bill 2020 (June 2020)

Download: [Pakistan] AIC Submits Comments on Pakistan’s Data Protection Bill 2020 (June 2020)

The Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) has submitted comments on the Public Consultation on Pakistan’s Data Protection Bill 2020 (the “Draft Bill“) to the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (“MoITT”). Now is an opportune time for Pakistan to develop a framework for personal data protection. As technological advancements continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, so do the threats. This rings particularly true given the current COVID-19 pandemic, due to which a great deal of our lives has been moved online. Therefore, it is now more critical than ever to protect individual data, particularly when economies and companies are transitioning rapidly into the digital space. That being said, AIC is concerned that certain aspects of the Draft Bill – particularly those relating to data localization – will adversely impact Pakistan’s digital ambitions. The data localization requirements in the Draft Bill will undermine privacy and data security and stifle innovation and growth in technology and internet-dependent industries. In our submission, we highlighted the most critical issues, which include:

  1. Sections 14 and 15: Data Localization and Cross-Border Data Flows
  2. Section 3: Extra-territorial scope
  3. Section 3: Data Protection Officer (DPO) and local representative requirements
  4. Section 34: Overbroad Powers for the Data Protection Authority
  5. Section 2: Definition of “Sensitive Personal Data”
  6. Section 7, 8, 9, 12, 24, 28: Conditions for processing personal data (Chapter II) and sensitive personal data (Chapter IV)
  7. Section 8: Security Requirements
  8. Sections 16, 20, 25, 26, 27: Rights of Data Subjects
  9. Sections 23, 41, 44: Criminal penalties and fines