Dhaka, 18 July 2022 (TDI): Bangladesh’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Division hosted a consultation session on the Data Protection Act 2022 on 17 July 2022.

The session was conducted in hybrid form. The program was presided over by the State Minister for the ICT Division, Zunaid Ahmed Palak.

The Minister of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs, Anisul Huq, attended as the Chief Guest. Masud Bin Momen, the Foreign Secretary, also attended the conference as a Chief Guest.

The consultation workshop was attended by representatives from both the Bangladesh Missions overseas and the Missions in Dhaka, as well as dignitaries from other organizations.

Data Protection Law

Generally, data protection laws govern the processing and handling of personal information. According to the Bangladesh ICT Ministry, the law would address three basic issues.

It will prepare the ground for action against service providers, effectively satisfy the desire for a data protection law, and facilitate the protection of individuals’ privacy.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) revealed that 137 out of 194 countries have put in place legislation to secure the protection of data and privacy.

Bangladesh is one of the countries with no personal data protection law, but efforts are in place to legalize the Data Protection Act 2022.

Remarks by the ICT Minister

The chair of the session, the State Minister for the ICT Division, stated that Bangladesh has 130 million internet subscribers and has digitalized more than 2,000 services.

He emphasized that the data privacy law is intended to protect the data of our citizens, not to control it.

Zunaid Ahmed Palak further clarified that analogous regulations of the European Union, Brazil, South Africa, Canada, and the United States were closely observed and followed during the drafting of the bill.

Remarks by the Minister of Law

In the consultation, the Minister of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs noted that the purpose of the data privacy law is not to govern the data but to safeguard it.

He stated that efforts are being made to strike the optimal balance between the protection of rights and the protection of data. Furthermore, he stated that the Data Protection Law should be autonomous and independent.

Remarks by the Foreign Secretary

The Foreign Secretary, Masud Bin Momen underscored that data protection is a vital and existential epistemic contribution of Bangladesh to the field of technology.

He also noted that data must be safeguarded to assure safety, security, and integrity and that cyberspace administration, content moderation, privacy, sensitivity, availability, and accessibility are the buzzwords for data protection.

He stated that data protection is a matter of justice, economics, and enforcement as well as a cultural construct. He stated that the proposed legislation aims to support Bangladesh’s national development aspirations.

The government seeks to link markets and production factors to global supply chains in an orderly and secure manner.

Participants from both the United States and abroad attended the session and provided insightful feedback on the proposed Data Protection Act.

After successful active participation from the attendees, the session chair thanked everyone for their insightful comments.