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14 June 2019, 09:01

Personal data bill passes first reading in Belarus

During the parliament session
During the parliament session

MINSK, 14 June (BelTA) – The bill on personal data passed the first reading in the Belarusian parliament on 13 June, BelTA has learned.

The bill is designed to enhance protection of personal data. The document was presented by Vadim Ipatov, Director of the National Center of Legislation and Legal Research of Belarus. Talking to journalists he noted that the document will introduce a number of important terms, including the definition of personal data. It was formulated taking into consideration provisions of the Council of Europe's Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data.

The bill defines the scope of information that shall be treated as personal data. This includes any information related to an identified physical person or a physical person that can be identified using this information.

The bill sets forth common requirements to the treatment of personal data. It also formalizes a possibility to get an electronic permission from physical persons to use their personal data for certain purposes. In line with the effective law on information, informatization and protection of information, such permission can be granted only in a written form. “In a number of cases this creates serious barriers for economic entities, because it is hard to get this written permission,” Vadim Ipatov said.

The main provisions of the law are to come into force after its official publication. “We will use this time to thoroughly analyze matters related to its implementation and choose the body authorized to protect personal data,” Vadim Ipatov explained. Apart from that, before the law comes into force, matters related to administrative and criminal sanctions for violating the bill will be worked out. The developers of the bill analyzed international practices, including, those of the European Union where fines are really big.

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