Cabinet to discuss personal data protection act

Bangladesh government emblem

The proposed ‘Personal Data Protection Act’ would be placed at a cabinet meeting on Monday for approval, National Cyber Security Agency Director General Abu Sayed Md Kamruzzaman told Prothom Alo today.

The proposed data protection act, 2023 is being enacted at the initiative of the ICT division.

He further said the cabinet will discuss if any amendment is required. Then the bill will be sent to the law ministry for vetting. From there it will go to the Jatiya Sangsad (national parliament). The president may issue an ordinance in this regard if there is no parliament session that time.

The government has been working for three years to enact the data protection law and published a draft of the act formally at the beginning of 2022.

Different local and foreign organisations, trade bodies and experts raised their concerns regarding a few sections of the draft. Following this amendments have been brought several times in the proposed law. The UN resident coordinator also presented to the government its 10 observations regarding the proposed law on 10 August last year.

Due to the objections, the government published another draft of the law in August this year. Various sections have been relaxed in this new amendment.

Criminal offence has been completely discarded from the act. Instead, the fine has been kept as punishment. However, the stakeholders think there are some thorny issues in several sections.

The name of the act was changed to ‘Personal Data Protection Act, 2023’ last September.

This amended bill was to be produced at the cabinet meeting.