National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA) Director General Abu Sayed Md Kamruzzaman said the proposed Personal Data Protection Act is unlikely to have any adverse effect on the country’s economy and investments.
He told this at a media briefing at the capital’s ICT Tower on Monday after the cabinet gave nod to the ‘Personal Data Protection Act, 2023’ the same day amid concerns from different ends, including the foreign investors.
“We are considering the challenges that may come after the enactment of the act as many companies do not want such a law in the country. Many other countries have also faced economic setbacks after implementing such laws,” he added.
At a programme in Dhaka in February this year, US Ambassador Peter Hass expressed concern over the draft of the data protection act, saying that the law might force some US companies to leave Bangladesh if it offered strict data localisation requirements.
In response to a question about this concern, NCSA chief Kamruzzaman said the government is aware of the issue.
“We have discussed with the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh, Transparency International Bangladesh, and other relevant stakeholders with regard to the proposed law. We always give priority to our economy first,” he further said.
The NCSA DG also stated that the data protection act could not be implemented until the formation of a specific board for the disposal of cyber-related cases.
“We won’t enforce the act until a data protection board is formed. The board would be responsible to settle down the corporate disputes,” Kamruzzaman continued.
“We are developing a liberal guideline. We are hopeful of bringing the social media companies like Facebook, Google and others into accountability through the act.”
“In India, the data privacy board is given the supreme authority for the disposal of all concern cases. However, we have kept openness in connection with the court. If the case wouldn’t get settled in the board, the plaintiff would be able to move to court,” the NCSA boss said.
The NCSA is the responsible organisation for data protection until the formation of the new board in this regard.
The government replaced the Digital Security Agency with the National Cyber Security Agency a few days ago through a gazette notification on 7 November 2023.