IT Ministry to Re-Draft Personal Data Protection Bill

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) on the instruction of the incumbent government has decided to re-draft the Personal Data Protection Bill.

Sources told ProPakistani that MoITT will make changes to the already approved Personal Data Protection Bill 2021 and the revised draft will be finalized in a couple of weeks.

It is pertinent to note that the cabinet under the chair of former Prime Minister Imran Khan approved the Personal Data Protection Bill 2021 in February 2022 but it was not tabled in the National Assembly for debate and approval.

As per the bill, the scope and applicability applied to any person/government who processes or has control over or authorizes the processing of any personal data provided the data controller or processor is established/present in Pakistan.

In addition, it also applied to those whose controller or processor is digitally or non-digitally operational in Pakistan, but incorporated in any other jurisdiction and involved in a commercial or non-commercial activity in Pakistan.

According to the bill, no personal data shall without the consent of the data subject be disclosed for any purpose other than “the purpose for which the personal data was to be disclosed at the time of collection of the personal data; or a purpose directly related to the purpose referred to in subparagraph.

Similarly, the commission, keeping in mind national interest, shall prescribe the best international standards to protect personal data from any loss, misuse, modification, unauthorized or accidental access or disclosure, alteration, or destruction.

In the event of a personal data breach, the data controller shall without undue delay and where reasonably possible, not beyond 72 hours of becoming aware of the personal data breach, notify the commission and the data subject in respect of the personal data breach except where the personal data breach is unlikely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of the data subject, the document added.

The Personal Data Protection Bill has been pending for the last four years. The MoITT had prepared the first draft of the bill in 2018, and a new draft was introduced in 2020 with some changes. Later on, this draft was changed to the ‘Personal Data Protection Bill Consultation Draft 2021’.