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Al-Falih explains why Saudi Arabia postponed implementing personal data protection law

Al-Falih explains why Saudi Arabia postponed implementing personal data protection law

Saudi Arabia has postponed recently the implementation of the newly introduced personal data protection law.
Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih spoke in public about the decision for the first time during a dialogue session on the National Strategy for Industry with Minister of Communications Abdullah Al-Sawaha and Minister of industry Bandar Al-Khorayef on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia's Council of Ministers approved the Personal Data Protection Law on Sep. 14, 2021.

On March 23, 2022, the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) announced that it had postponed implementing the law for a one-year period.

Al-Falih said on Wednesday that the government, represented by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs and committees having specialized teams, will study and review the economic impact of each law.

He gave an example of the personal data law while addressing the session with Al-Sawaha sitting next to him. The law comes under the MCIT portfolio.

He revealed that the law would have a "non-positive impact" on the investment environment.

"The law was approved but it has been withdrawn to relaunch it in a perfect shape that serves everyone’s interests," Al-Falih said.

"You can't have bio industries without laws and legislations that serve research centers, whether local or foreign, on gathering information while maintaining the privacy of people," he said.

SDAIA earlier said the decision to postpone implementing the law was taken to adopt the necessary measures regarding the recommendations that had been made with regard to the proposed changes in the draft executive regulations of the law. The recommendations were based on observations and viewpoints expressed by individuals as well as local and international public and private entities while taking part in a public opinion poll.
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