Privacy and Data Protection Law: Lessons from Covid-19 Patient-Tracing Apps [Bread&Net 2020 Session]

In this #BreadandNet 2020 session moderated by Accessnow’s Marwa Fatafta, Senior Legal Consultant Mohammad Moghabat, Joey Shia, and Etienne Manyier overview the laws pertaining to data protection in the Arab Speaking World and assess the privacy implications of these legal frameworks.

According to Joey Shia, data protection laws in the Gulf are similar to the European Union GDPR, but in most cases they have no enforcement mechanism and their exemptions for national security and criminal investigation are more far reaching, which is a threat to human rights. When it comes to Lebanon, on the other hand, the law concentrates this authority in the executive branch and there are no specific criteria on how the government gives licenses on data protection. In this panel, Mohammad Moghabat from the Lebanese Transparency Association – No Corruption also explores the legal landscape of data protection through a case study of COVID-19 contact-tracing apps.

The session uses Cyrilla’s database and research methodology to examine and compare law and case law pertaining to data, privacy, and surveillance across jurisdictions in the Middle East.

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SMEX is a registered Lebanese NGO that works to advance self-regulating information societies in the Middle East and North Africa.