The Data Protection Bill in Pakistan aims to define and protect individuals’ data and privacy. It is influenced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) introduced by the European Union. However, concerns have been raised about the bill’s lack of consideration for local context and its potential to violate individual rights and hinder business growth. One problematic aspect is the reliance on consent for data processing, which can be manipulated through deceptive practices. The bill also restricts the participation of teenagers in the digital age by setting a minimum age for consent. Another issue is the vague definition of “legitimate interests,” allowing organizations to use people’s data without their consent. This undermines trust in data protection. The bill also mandates organizations to share sensitive personal data with the government on vague grounds such as “public order” and “national security.” This infringes on the right to privacy and may discourage investment in the country. Data protection laws typically distinguish between personal data and sensitive personal data, with stricter regulations for the latter. The bill’s lack of clarity and safeguards raise concerns about the value and legitimacy of data protection legislation.
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