UAE companies must understand legal implications of data privacy, say experts

DUBAI, With the UAE expected to introduce a new data protection law soon, businesses must enhance their understanding of data privacy and its legal implications, experts from PwC Middle East explained during a recent workshop held at the headquarters of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The workshop, entitled "Data Privacy in the UAE", was organised by the 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 resource managers, risk and compliance professionals and contract administrators.

Led by PwC, presentations during the workshop examined the 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 the 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 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 the 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 legislation that would ensure the protection of data in the 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.

She added that the informative workshop achieved its objectives of educating members on the legal and practical aspects of data privacy, and increased their understanding of its fundamental principles.

Dubai Chamber regularly organises training seminars and workshops to raise awareness about key business trends and laws that affect the emirate's private sector.

Source: Emirates News Agency