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Saudi Arabia Approves New Personal Data Protection System

Saudi Arabia Approves New Personal Data Protection System

Wednesday, 15 September, 2021 - 09:00
The system protects any personal data that might lead to identifying directly or indirectly the user from unconsented collection and processing

The head of the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, said that the newly government approved personal data protection system would help ensure the privacy of personal data, regulate its sharing and prevent any abuse.

On Tuesday, the Saudi government passed the Personal Data Protection System.

According to Al-Ghamdi, the new regulation will strengthen the sense of responsibility for individuals and entities, build the principle of trust and joint work between them, and consolidate respect for privacy.

The SDAIA chief also noted that the system will boost the Kingdom’s digital transformation process, a crucial pillar of achieving the national Vision 2030 transformation plan.

It will do so by developing the digital infrastructure supporting innovation.

This will empower the private sector and help create a favorable regulatory environment for business growth and attracting foreign investments to ensure economic sustainability, global leadership, and national data sovereignty.

Al-Ghamdi assured that it’s not permissible to use personal means of communication for the purpose of marketing or awareness materials except with the approval of the owner of personal data, or the existence of a mechanism that enables him to express his desire to receive it or not.

Al-Ghamdi stressed that the system guarantees the owners of personal data the right to view their data and know the purpose of its collection and processing, and they have the right to access it or obtain a copy of it.

The data owner has the right to request restricting the processing of his personal data for cases, especially for a limited period of time, bearing in mind that the collection of personal data is limited to the minimum amount of data that enables the achievement of the specified purposes.

More so, the law is designated to protect any personal data that might directly or indirectly identify the user from unconsented collection and processing.

The data include name, identification number, address, phone number, personal records, financial records and images, videos, or any other identifying data.

For his part, the head of the National Data Management office, Tariq Al-Sheddi, explained that the personal data protection system is one of the main pillars for building an integrated regulatory environment that supports the growth of the private sector and attracts foreign investments.

It is also vital for ensuring the privacy of personal data owners and protecting their rights.

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