Saudi Arabia Approves Law to Protect Personal Data

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The Saudi Cabinet has approved the Personal Data Protection Law that aims to reinforce respect for individuals’ privacy and contribute to the creation of a data-based digital economy.

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The Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) announced that the new law protects the rights related to processing personal data, regulates their sharing between entities, and prevents their misuse. The new law will be implemented within 180 days.

The new law is intended to safeguard any personal data that could be used to identify the user directly or indirectly from unconsented collection and processing. The data includes name, identification number, address, phone number, personal records, financial records, and images, videos or any other identifying data.

The personal data protection law will protect personal data by ensuring its privacy, regulating its sharing, and preventing its abuse.

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Abdullah bin Sharaf Al Ghamdi, president of SDAIA, said in a statement that the law would help accelerate the process of digital transformation and create an information-based society.

The digital transformation empowers the private sector, fosters business growth, and attracts foreign investment, he continued.

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He emphasized that it is impermissible to use personal means of communication to send marketing or awareness-raising materials to individuals unless consent has been obtained.