Dubai International Financial Centre passes data protection law

Source: Dubai International Financial Centre

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) announced today that it has issued an enhanced Data Protection Law and appointed a Data Protection Commissioner to oversee the administration by the DIFC Authority.

Both of these moves are pioneering in the region, and will serve to consolidate the international best practices already being adhered to by the DIFC.

The Data Protection Law, which has been amended following a period of public consultation, ensures the protection of all personal information, including any sensitive personal data, and is compliant with the provisions of the laws and directives of the European Union and the guidelines of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), including the transfer of data.

Since 2004, the DIFC has had in place an established data protection regime, based on international best practices, to protect personal information, which had been administered by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). The issuance of the new law and appointment of a Data Protection Commissioner serve to formalize and develop the data protection regime of the DIFC, to be administered hereafter by the DIFC Authority.

Data protection is an especially important issue for international banking and financial services firms, which increasingly process and exchange personal information electronically. The recently approved law will safeguard such information without hindering the flow of data. Most important, the law will ensure respect of the individual's right to privacy.

His Excellency Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the DIFC, said: "With the passage of the new Data Protection Law and appointment of a Data Protection Commissioner, the Dubai International Financial Centre has again proved its commitment to international best practices - this time in the critical area of data protection. Especially in our era of globalisation, when information has never been more readily available and transmittable, it is crucial to establish effective data protection regimes and enforce legal safeguards against the misuse of personal data. At the DIFC, we are committed to upholding and continuously improving upon the highest standards in this regard."

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