Recently, Egypt has adopted two new laws on cyber crime and consumer protection which can be seen as the first attempt by Egypt to regulate data privacy and security. Specifically, the Law No. 175/2018 on Combating Information Technology Crimes and Law No. 181/2018 on Consumer Protection were adopted.

The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) and the Egyptian Consumer Protection Agency respectively will be enforcing the new rules, and the Executive Regulations (ER) that will be issued soon will be explaining the exact procedures of implementation.

What is changing?

The Combating Information Technology Crimes Law is the first Egyptian law that defines and penalizes various cyber crimes such as illegally logging into a website or private account, hacking or deactivating emails or websites, and illegally accessing credit card details. The law also clarifies that electronic data that is derived or extracted from various devices and sources may be considered as criminal evidence to prove the crimes stated in that law. Before the issuance of this new law, all forms of data theft, misuse, hacking and theft of website content were governed by laws which did not address the specific nature of these crimes. Therefore, it was very difficult to prove those crimes and enforcement was quite inconsistent in many respects.

The law also imposes new duties and obligations on service providers (i.e., any natural or legal person that provides users with information technology and communication services, including those who process and store data themselves or through third parties). These obligations include storing user data (whether personal or not) for a consecutive period of 180 days and ensuring the confidentiality and security of the stored data. Service providers must also make their contact details and obtained licenses easily accessible to users.

As for the new Consumer Protection Law, it grants consumers the right to not receive visits at their residences from sellers without their prior approval. The Consumer Protection Authority has indicated that this prohibition applies only to unsolicited sellers who physically approach residences. It does not relate to unsolicited electronic advertisement or unsolicited advertisement by post.

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To speak to us in relation to any data privacy and security issues in Egypt, please feel free to contact one of the lawyers below.

 

Author

Mohamad Talaat is the managing partner of Baker McKenzie's Cairo office. His broad practice covers transactional work including mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and private placements, corporate, anti-trust, arbitration, commercial, tax, labor, administrative and Islamic law, capital markets and project finance.

Author

Mohamed Elfar is a Counsel in Baker McKenzie's Cairo office. He has been involved in numerous competition law cases involving cartels, abuse of dominance, compliance, price fixing and market division, as well as trade disputes related to customs, dumping and safeguards measure. Mohamed has extensive experience in the development and implementation of competition law compliance programmes for multinational companies in a wide range of industry sectors.

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