State of Privacy Lebanon

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As part of an ongoing collaboration with Privacy International, SMEX produced ”State of Privacy Lebanon,” a new briefing that intends to establish foundational knowledge about privacy in Lebanon. The report tackles the right to privacy, communication surveillance, data protection, identification schemes, and policies and sectoral initiatives. The report not only details longstanding issues such as the weak legal framework for privacy rights in Lebanon and the lack of a data protection law, but also delves into more recent issues like the state’s dependence on both physical and digital surveillance tools, and its increased use of biometric identification.

Key privacy facts

1. Constitutional privacy protection: The Lebanese constitution does not explicitly mention the right to privacy.

2. Data protection law: Lebanon does not have an explicit data protection law.

3. Data protection authority: Lebanon does not have a data protection authority.

4. Recent scandals: EFF recently reported that malware-infected messaging apps have been operating since 2012, possibly involving a nation-state actor.

5. ID regime: Biometric passports and residence permits are being issued without a clear legal framework being in place.

In addition to the publication of the  “State of Privacy Lebanon,” Privacy International and its local partners also updated briefings for nineteen other countries including Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia.

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