Govt targets local ICT companies’ access to Chinese market
ISLAMABAD: The government is exploring market access opportunities for Pakistani information and communication technology (ICT) companies in the Chinese market under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“There is a need to explore opportunities to use Pakistan’s position in the region to make Pakistan a regional cloud hub in collaboration with Chinese counterparts on cloud initiatives,” an advisory board meeting said on Friday. of the Prime Minister on IT and the digital economy.
“There is also a need to help Chinese IT companies establish offices in Pakistan,” he added.
The meeting discussed the Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB), 2022, which is to govern the collection, processing, use and disclosure of personal data and establish and make provision for offenses relating to the violation of the data privacy rights of individuals by collecting, obtaining or processing personal data by any means.
The aim of the PDPB is to protect the data of Pakistani citizens so that unauthorized leaks of personal data are stopped. It imposes obligations on controllers and processors as well as sanctions in the event of a data breach.
According to the draft law, “data subject” means a natural person who is the subject of personal data. “Data Controller” means a natural or legal person or the government, who alone or jointly has the power to make a decision about the collection, obtaining, use or disclosure of personal data.
“Data Processor” means a natural or legal person or the government who, alone or in collaboration with others, processes data on behalf of the Controller.
The bill will hold both public and private data controllers liable in the event of a data breach. It extends to all of Pakistan.
It shall enter into force no later than two years from the date of its promulgation which the Federal Government may determine by notice in the official gazette with at least three months’ notice of the date of entry into force.
The bill addresses the key areas relating to the protection of personal data are; definitions of sensitive and critical personal data, scope, security requirements, cross-border data management framework, roles and obligations of data controllers and processors, data subject rights and breach notifications.
It also addresses the processing of sensitive and critical personal data, management of funds, automated processing including profiling, complaints and sanctions, establishment of rules and regulations and commission powers and exemptions, etc
The commission shall have the power to make rules and regulations in accordance with the bill relating to the powers and exercise of its functions, internal operation, appointment, promotion, termination and conditions of its employees, etc.
The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoITT) prepared the initial draft of the Bill and uploaded it to the Ministry’s website during the second week of April 2020 for comments from parties stakeholders (local and international).
A total of 61 entities provided their comments which were compiled. After analyzing the feedback, consultation sessions were organized with more than 100 companies and the draft law was updated after the consultation sessions.
IT Minister Syed Amin-Ul-Haque said that to improve the country’s digital economy, it is necessary to solve the problems of the IT and telecommunications industry and provide them with relief maximum.
The Ministry of Informatics and Telecoms has set up three commissions for IT exports, the protection of personal data and the growth of the telecoms sector. The committees will finalize their recommendations within a week, which will be presented to the PM who is the chair of the advisory board.
The advisory board stressed the need for consistency in government policies to attract local and international investors, saying the industry and investors are becoming uncertain due to the changing situation, which is hampering promotion efforts. of the digital economy.
Agreeing, Haque said the purpose of constituting the advisory council was to come up with workable proposals to solve the problems of the information technology and telecommunications industry, to make the industry more functional in the national economy.