Legal Counsel, a reputed law chambers located in Dhaka arranged a webinar on "Digital Communication, Data Protection and Data Privacy" on 12 July 2020. The webinar was hosted by, Barrister Miti Sanjana, Partner of Legal Counsel. Honorable Minister for the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Mr. Mustafa Jabbar; Chief Executive Officer of bKash, Mr. Kamal Quadir; President of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), Mr. Syed Almas Kabir and Head of Chambers of Legal Counsel, Barrister Omar H. Khan were present as discussants.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the usage of information technology to a greater extent. In order to stay functional through virtual life, we need to share, transfer and transmit different information to various individuals and organisations both at personal as well as professional levels. Data protection and privacy involves ensuring strong security for data and all the associated activities involved with collecting, storing, processing, accessing transmitting, sharing and disposing of the data.
The discussants opined that to implement the 'Digital Bangladesh Vision', enactment of new legislation on data protection and privacy is necessary. The Hon'ble Minister, Mr. Mostafa Jabbar, agreed with all and mentioned that the importance of a new and upgraded data protecting law is immense. He added that existing laws do not provide anything directly related to data protection and privacy and also do not cover adequately all areas of financial frauds and other types of cyber-crimes. He said the social networking sites (i.e. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp etc.) are the most cyber-crime prone sites. He affirmed that the has wholehearted support to the enactment of a new legislation.
Barrister Omar H. Khan, Head of Legal Counsel said that Section 26 of Digital Security Act, 2018 emphasises on some aspects of individual data privacy. He also added that sections 20, 23, 24, 25 and 29 of Digital Security Act also ensure some protections against perpetrators of cyber-crimes. He referred to Article 43 of the Constitution of Bangladesh stating that every citizen has the right to privacy of his communications. He added that dissemination of knowledge regarding the existing laws are very important for the citizens and organisations to protect their date. He thinks until a new piece of legislation is being passed, we have to invoke our rights within the purview of currents laws.
Mr. Almas Kabir, President of BASIS said that there is a very fine distinction between data protection and data privacy. He informed that BASIS has prepared a draft of standard guidelines regarding data protection and right to privacy and the classification of data. He emphasised on raising public awareness and understanding proper behavior when communicating online i.e. netiquette. He also suggested that companies should also take steps to train their employees and implement other necessary security measures to protect their confidential information and business data.
Mr. Kamal Qadir, CEO of bKash, highlighted the experience of his organisation and emphasised on raising awareness at the individual level as well as at the organisational level. He said that bKash gives highest priority to their customer data. They regularly arrange training for their employees on data protection and privacy. Mr. Qadir added that due to their strong security system their customer date has always been well protected in their 10 (ten) years of journey.
At the end of the webinar, Barrister Miti Sanjana added that, as always, Legal Counsel will continue to serve the people of the country with new legal innovative work. The webinar was broadcast live on Channel-i.