UAE companies must understand legal implications of data privacy, experts say
With the UAE expected to introduce a new data protection law in the near future, it is crucial that businesses enhance their understanding of data privacy and its legal implications, experts from PwC Middle East explained during a recent workshop at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry's headquarters.
The workshop was organised by Dubai Chamber's Legal Services Department and attended by Dubai Chamber members, lawyers and legal professionals, general managers, business owners, corporate counsel, IT professionals, human resources managers, risk and compliance professionals and contract administrators.
Led by PwC, presentations during the workshop examined fundamental principles associated with data privacy, the implications for businesses resulting from the introduction of a new data privacy law in the UAE, the responsibilities of handling personal data, the role of technology in ensuring data protection and risks associated with non-compliance.
Sessions highlighted the growing significance of data privacy in the business sphere, a trend that has gained momentum with the increasing volume of data usage. More companies around the world are taking steps to minimise their risks and protect personal data following the introduction of the of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) among EU countries in 2018.
"Data privacy is gaining more importance, both globally and in the Middle East. The introduction of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has already seen many organisations in the region rethink their approach to data privacy. With new federal data privacy legislation expected in the UAE, more entities will need to understand its implications and address their approach to handling personal data," said Phil Mennie, partner, Digital Trust PwC Middle East.
Jehad Kazim, director of Dubai Chamber's Legal Services Department, stressed the importance of introducing legislations that would ensure the protection of data in UAE, especially as more companies shift towards digital platforms and solutions. By improving their understanding of data privacy and adopting best practices, businesses can reduce risks and enhance their competitiveness, she explained, adding that the informative workshop achieved its objectives of educating members on legal and practical aspects of data privacy, and increased understanding of its fundamental principles.