Data Privacy As a Way of Life
Around 50 key officials from regulatory bodies and public-sector organizations attended the business awareness seminar organized by KPMG in Bahrain to highlight the detailed provisions of Bahrain’s first standalone nationwide Personal Data Protection Law. The seminar also showcased the key processes, implications and potential risks in terms of collecting, storing, using, disclosing and disposing personal data.
Jeyapriya Partiban, Partner and Head of Risk Consulting at KPMG in Bahrain, said “The event was an ideal platform for regulatory authorities to understand the implications of the new legislation on their operations as well as the entities operating within their respective sector.” Bahrain’s Personal Data Protection law aims to provide a clear framework for companies operating in Bahrain on collecting, processing, storing and disposing off personal data in line with global best practices. Being only a few months away from the implementation of the Law on 1 August 2019, organizations need to start reviewing their internal processes and system infrastructure to ensure efficient, secure and effective management of data.”
Dr. Jameel Al Alawi, Senior Legal Advisor at the Bahrain Economic Development Board, and Kunal Pande, Partner and Head of Financial Services Risk Consulting at KPMG in India were the keynote speakers during the event. Dr. Al Alawi, who has also been responsible for drafting the Data Protection Law in Bahrain, provided the attendees with a comprehensive overview of the law including the administrative and criminal sanctions organizations may face due to non-compliance. He also emphasized on the importance of the role of a Data Protection Guardian, and highlighted some of the key differences between the Bahrain Data Protection Law and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
“The new legislation regulates the collection, storage, processing, security and use of personal data. It creates obligations on all entities and individuals to ensure personal data of others is not abused and the data subjects are not harmed as a result. The law provides for sanctions both financial and penal in the event of violations. The law aims to create a culture and mindset that respects and protects personal data and hence the privacy of others. This is a concept which has been developing worldwide especially since the recognition of the Right to Privacy which is the 12th Fundamental Right under the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and has been increasingly gaining traction in recent years with the dominance of computers and telecommunication devices in our lives” Dr. Jameel commented.
On the approach regulators and public-sector organizations will need to consider, Mr. Pande stated that “organizations will need to initiate and implement certain mandatory processes and precautions to ensure compliance in relation to processing, managing and securing personal data of its customers, suppliers, employees and all stakeholders securely and effectively.”
“Data privacy has a profound impact on businesses across the world, and it is crucial to build capabilities for implementation, monitoring, public awareness and enforcement. A key element would be defining clear rules and requirements for organizations to follow, such as, reporting requirements. This would also include defining detailed rules, building organizational capabilities and raising awareness. An effective data privacy law enables integration into the global digital economy and benefiting from the growth thereof. An excellent example of this is the recent EU – Japan Mutual Adequacy Decision that has allowed free movement of data across EU and Japan, which will complement and amplify economic exchanges and benefits. KPMG has been working in the area of Privacy for a very long time and through such initiatives is contributing towards capability building” Kunal added.
The seminar also included a session by Logan Simpson, Cyber Security Manager at KPMG in Bahrain, which focused on how organizations will need to rethink data protection and information security from a technology standpoint.
The event was hosted on Wednesday, 20 February 2019 at Bahrain Capital Club under the theme “Data Privacy: As a way of life”. For more information about Data Protection, please contact Ramesh Gajula, Advisory Director on email@example.com. For more information about KPMG in Bahrain’s events, please contact Khalid Seyadi, senior marketing executive at KPMG in Bahrain, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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