ELECTRONIC DATA PROTECTION ACT 2005
An Act to provide for protection to electronic data with regard to the processing of electronic data in Pakistan.
Whereas it is expedient to provide for the processing of electronic data while respecting the rights, freedom and dignity of natural and legal persons, with special regard to their right to privacy, secrecy and personal identity and for matters connected therewith and ancillary thereto;
Now therefore it is enacted as follows:
1. Short title, extent and commencement.—
(1) This Act may be called the Electronic Data Protection Act 2005.
(2) It extends to the whole of Pakistan and shall apply to the processing of electronic data which is collected or takes place within Pakistan, regardless of the location of the data processor or data controller.
(3) It shall come into force at once.
In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,─
(a) “blocking”, means the storage of electronic data while any other data processing operation is temporarily suspended;
(b) “corporate data”, means any information relating to or owned by any person including financial, legal and business processes;
(c) “data controller”, means the individual or person, who determines the purposes and means of the processing of electronic data, including security issues;
(d) “data filing system”, means any set of data structured according to several specific criteria suitable to ease their processing, composed of one or more units, in one or more physical locations;
(e) “data operator”, means an individual employed by data processor for the processing of electronic data;
(f) “data processor”, means the individual or person, who processes electronic data on behalf of a data controller;
(g) “data subject”, means the individual or person to whom the electronic data are related;
(h) “disclosure”, means the act of making electronic data known to one or more specified individual or person, excluding the data subject himself, by any means;
(i) “dissemination”, means the act of making electronic data known to unspecified individuals or persons, by any means;
(j) “electronic data” means any information which is being processed by means of any information system, is recorded with the intention that it should be processed by means of such information system, or is recorded as part of a relevant data filing system or with the intention that it should form part of a relevant data filing system and includes personal, corporate, foreign and local data;
Explanation.—The words “information” and “information system” used in sub-clause (k) shall have the same meaning as defined in the Electronic Transaction Ordinance 2002 (LI of 2002);
(k) “federal government” means the federal government of Pakistan;
(l) “foreign data” means both personal and corporate data collected outside Pakistan and sent to Pakistan for processing purpose only;
(m) “individual” means natural person;
(n) “local data” means both personal and corporate data collected within Pakistan for processing within or outside Pakistan;
(o) “person” includes an authority, trust, waqf, association, statutory body, firm, company including joint venture or consortium, or any other entity whether registered or not;
(p) “personal data”, means any information relating to an individual, identified or identifiable, directly or indirectly by reference to any other information;
(q) “processing”, means any operation or set of operations, whether or not performed by an information system, which involves collection, recording, organization, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, use, alignment or combination, blocking, disclosure by transmission, dissemination, erasure or destruction of the data;
(r) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(s) “Rules” means rules made under this Act; and
(t) “sensitive data” means data revealing racial or ethnic origin, religious, philosophical or other beliefs, political opinions, membership in political parties, trade unions, organizations and associations with a religious, philosophical, political or trade-union, or provide information as to the health or sexual life of an individual and financial, or proprietary confidential corporate data.
3. Manual and personal data.—
(1) The processing of personal or corporate data which are not performed by any information system or other automated means shall not be subject to the provisions of this Act unless the manual data is collected for the purpose of converting it into electronic data.
(2) The processing of personal data by an individual in the course of a purely personal activity or household and family purposes shall not be subject to the provisions of this Act, provided that the personal data are not intended to be systematically disclosed or to be disseminated.
4. Government activity and exemptions.—
(1) This Act does not apply to the processing of personal or corporate data carried out by federal, provincial or local government.
(2) The federal government, in respect of local data only, by notification in the official gazette, may exempt any public or private sector, entity or business from the operation of this Act.
PROCESSING OF FOREIGN AND LOCAL DATA
5. Data processor and data operators.—
(1) The data processor shall perform the data processing in the prescribed manner and according to the instructions received from the data controller unless it contravenes any law.
(2) Data operators shall act on the foreign or local data, as the case may be, to which they have access only according to the instructions of the data processor.
Processing of foreign or local data, as the case may be, shall be:
(a) done fairly and lawfully; and
(b) stored for specified, explicit and lawful purposes.
7. Collection of local data.—
Local data that are subject to data processing shall be:
(a) collected with due diligence, fairly and lawfully;
(b) collected and stored for specified, explicit and lawful purposes;
(c) adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purposes for which it is collected or processed; and
(d) processed in accordance with the rights of the data subject and, when necessary, kept up to date.
8. Information to data subject.—
(1) Data subject, any other individual or person from whom the local data is collected shall be given, prior to the collection and in writing, the following information:
(a) the purposes and means of the processing;
(b) whether replies to the questions are obligatory or voluntary;
(c) the possible consequences of failure to reply;
(d) the recipients or categories of recipients to whom data may be disclosed, and the limit of data dissemination;
(e) the existence of his rights; and
(f) the name or trade name, and the address of the data controller and, if designated, of the data processor.
(2) Some or all of the information described in Sub-section 1 may be omitted when it is already known to the person from whom the data is collected.
(3) Where the data have not been obtained from the data subject, the information described in Sub-section 1 shall be provided to the data subject at the time of undertaking the recording of the personal data or, if a disclosure is intended, no later than the time when the data is first disclosed.
DATA SUBJECT'S RIGHTS
It would be the sole responsibility of the data controller to obtain the consent of the data subject, if required, whose electronic data shall be processed within Pakistan.
10. Rights of foreign Data Subjects.—
Data subjects shall have all their rights, if any provided under the laws of the country or territory where the foreign data has been collected or data subject resides, only against data controller including confirmation as to existence of, access to, updating or rectification of their foreign data and objection to any or all operations involving the processing of foreign data and its intended purpose and will not deal directly with the data processor within Pakistan unless otherwise agreed between the data controller and data processor.
ELECTRONIC DATA SECURITY
11. Electronic data security.—
(1) Electronic data that is subject to data processing shall be kept under custody, controlled or processed in such a way as to minimize the risks of its destruction or loss, even accidental, unauthorized access, unlawful processing or processing for purposes other than those for which the electronic data were collected, by means of appropriate precautionary security measures.
(2) The minimal precautionary security measures shall be as prescribed.
12. End of data processing.—
(1) Before ending the processing of electronic data, for any reason, the data processor shall notify the data controller of its fate.
(2) The electronic data can be:
(a) destroyed; or
(b) returned to data controller.