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Monday, 1 March 2021

Big tech gets a say on the Data Protection Act?

Major tech companies have handed the ICT Ministry a list of proposals for the executive regulations of the recently-ratified Data Protection Act. The list includes a handful of suggestions on how the regs should flesh out the key stipulations of the law, to make it clearer for everyone involved in the data economy, according to a copy obtained by Al Mal. The law, which was ratified last summer, is Egypt’s version of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It protects personal data — your name, address, or photo, to name a few examples — from unauthorized use and manipulation. When the bill passed the House last year, a committee report said it used the GDPR as its “primary benchmark.”

Over 15 major data vendors operating in Egypt — including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Vodafone, Facebook, Twitter, MasterCard, Uber and Careem — reportedly took part in drafting the suggestions.

What are the tech companies’ proposals for the regs? Things they would like to see in the include:

  • Setting a clear process for data owners to lodge complaints of misuse of their data;
  • Giving organizations more flexibility to classify data by nature and importance when outlining in their privacy policies;
  • Having a single licensing mechanism for consumer data-driven companies;
  • Giving those organizations a wider timeframe to respond to privacy complaints;
  • Requiring companies to have a dedicated data protection officer.

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE DATA PROTECTION ACT, courtesy of our friends at law firm Sharkawy and Sarhan? Click/tap here for the breakdown.


New incentives for EVs, natgas-fueled cars: Importers of used electric and dual-fuel cars are getting a custom duties break of at least 10% on the FOB price of their cars, the Finance Ministry said in a statement this afternoon. The discounts will scale up based on how old the vehicle is, with 1-3 year old models given a base 10-30% haircut depending on the age. 3-7 year models will be eligible for a total discount of 35-50%, with a 5% discount on the FOB price for each year past the three-year mark, the ministry said. Not to get too technical, the FOB price is what the importer pays for the marine freight and insurance of the imported car.

Background: The move comes as part of incentives the government is laying out for domestic EVs assembly and a multi-year plan to replace diesel- and gasoline-powered vehicles with cars that use natural gas or a mix of both.


Egypt plans to get at least 2 mn more day laborers on the books by the end of 2021 for health insurance and financial support, Reuters reported, quoting Manpower Ministry spokesman Haitham Saad El Din. Informal workers have been receiving EGP 500 monthly stipends since the pandemic broke, with the final installment under the one-year scheme due this Sunday. Reuters estimates day laborers across Egypt to number over 14 mn. According to statements by International Cooperation Rania Al Mashat last year, we already have at least 1.5 mn accounted for.

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