Egypt does not have a law which regulates protection of personal data. However, there are some piecemeal provisions in connection with data protection in different laws and regulations in Egypt.
Constitutional principles concerning individuals' right to privacy under the Egyptian Constitution as well as general principles on compensation for unlawful acts under the Egyptian Civil Code govern the collection, use and processing of personal data.
In addition, the Egyptian Penal Code no. 58/1937 imposes criminal punishment for unlawful collection of images or recordings for individuals in private places. Some other laws provide for protection and confidentiality on certain data, such as the Egyptian Labour Law no. 12/2003 (confidentiality of the employee's file information including punishment and assessment) and the Egyptian Banking Law no. 88/2003 (confidentiality of client and account information). Egyptian Civil Status Law no. 143/1994 provides for the confidentiality of citizens' civil status data. The Executive Regulations of Mortgage Finance Law no. 148/2001 issued by virtue of Cabinet Decree no. 1/2001 as amended by Prime Minister Decree no. 465/2005 has a similar clause which provides for the confidentiality of the data of the clients of mortgage finance companies. The Mentally Disordered Care Law no. 71/2009 has the same clause on confidentiality of the patient's data.
The New Constitution has been promulgated in December 2012 and has replaced all the previous Constitutional Declarations issued by the Armed Forces Supreme Council and the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
The New Constitution has not defined data protection. However, it referred to the legislative authority to regulate the communication of data in a manner that does not encroach upon the privacy of citizens, their rights and National Security.
DEFINITION OF PERSONAL DATA
There is no definition of personal data or private life under Egyptian law or the New Constitution. However, Egyptian laws provide examples of the personal data that are protected such as the Labour Law. Article 77 of the Labour Law provides that the employees' files that must be kept by the employer (as mentioned below) includes the employee's personal data such as his name, job, professional skills when he joined the workplace, domicile, marital status, salary, starting date of his work, the holiday leave he takes, punishments imposed on him and the reports of his superiors on his work.
DEFINITION OF SENSITIVE PERSONAL DATA
There is no definition of sensitive personal data under Egyptian law.
NATIONAL DATA PROTECTION AUTHORITY
There is no national authority responsible for data protection in Egypt.
There is no requirement or facility to register data in a specific register.
DATA PROTECTION OFFICERS
There is no requirement in Egypt for organisations to appoint a data protection officer.
COLLECTION AND PROCESSING
According to the principles of the Egyptian Civil Code, the collection, use or processing of personal data is prohibited in case it violates the individual right to privacy and provided that such collection, use or processing constitutes a fault pursuant to the Egyptian Civil Code. A fault is defined by the judiciary as an act or omission that violates an obligation imposed by the law or assumed caution and care of the average man.
Only data which is considered pertinent to the data subject's private life requires the consent of the data subject. The competent courts will determine whether specific data is considered pertinent to the private life of the data subject or not and whether the collection or processing of such data violates an obligation imposed by the law or assumed caution and care of the average man.
Collecting data about the employee is required by law (Article 77 of the Egyptian Labour Law) which provides that each employer must keep a file for each employee which includes their personal data. Only certain persons are authorised by the law to have access to such data.
The same general principles applicable to data collection and processing mentioned above apply to the transfer of data; the data controller may not transfer data pertinent to the private life of the data subject except after obtaining the consent of the data subject, unless otherwise permitted by the law.
Other than client and account data in banks, personal data controllers are not required by law to take specific measures against unauthorised or unlawful processing, accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data. The data controllers will be held liable according to the average man standard if their acts or omissions cause the processing, loss, destruction or damage to such personal data and this in turn results in damage being caused to the data subject.
There is no mandatory legal requirement in the Egyptian law to report data security breaches or losses to the authorities or to data subjects.
As a general rule, civil liability may be raised in connection with violations against the individuals' right to privacy. The prejudiced data subject should establish to the competent court the unlawful act, the damage occurred to them and the causation relationship between the unlawful act and the damage.
Civil liability for data privacy infringement has not been frequently claimed before Egyptian courts.
Egyptian law does not have any specific provisions which regulate Electronic Marketing.
ONLINE PRIVACY (INCLUDING COOKIES AND LOCATION DATA)
Egyptian law does not have any specific provisions which regulate online privacy.
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