The President of Egypt Abdel-Fattah El Sisi has endorsed the country’s new Personal Data Protection Law No. 151, and will now be implemented from 14 October 2020.

The draft law had earlier been approved by the House of Representatives in February, which prohibits the gathering and processing of personal data except with the consent of the data subject, or where otherwise permitted by law.

The new Personal Data Protection Law further prohibits the transfer of personal data to recipients located outside Egypt except with the permission of the Egyptian Data Protection Centre and where the level of protection provided is not less than that provided in Egypt pursuant to the Personal Data Protection Law.

By “Personal Data”, the law refers to any data related to an identified natural person, or to a natural person identifiable, directly or indirectly, by reference to any other data, such as name, voice, picture, identification number, online identifier, or any data that indicates psychological, health, economic, cultural or social identity.

According to Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Amr Talaat, the new law on the protection of personal data supports the Ministry’s efforts to localize the data center industry and create a safe environment for the circulation of information within the cyberspace.

Talaat further stated that Egypt has a distinguished position on the global marine cable map which offers opportunities for many Egyptian and international companies for the settlement of data center industry in Egypt.

The Executive Regulations which are expected by 14 April 2021 will specify the policies, standards, guidelines, and rules necessary for transferring personal data across borders.

Articles no. 35, 36, and 37 of the new Data Protection Law further present penalties for violators which include fines with a minimum of EGP 100,000 and no more than EGP 1,000,000 while individual violators can get an option of 6 months imprisonment at minimum.