Posted on October 13, 2019

Interest in data privacy in the Middle East and globally continues to grow at a rapid rate. PwC Qatar in collaboration with the Qatar Financial Centre held a seminar on “Beyond GDPR: Data Privacy in Qatar” examining key principles of data protection 9 October 2019 at the W Hotel.

The introduction of GDPR has already seen many organisations in the region rethink their approach to data privacy. With the QFC Data Protection Regulations and the State data privacy law, more entities in Qatar need to understand their implications, and how to approach handling personal data. Meeting data privacy compliance requirements is a complex undertaking, that many organisations struggle to achieve. The session provided practical solutions and insights into best practice. The seminar highlighted a number of key topics on the latest data protection developments both in Qatar and the region as well as understanding the challenges and how to tackle them. Discussions included practical steps to comply from conducting an assessment of your processing operations and implementing measures to protect personal data, to identifying a lawful purpose to process personal data and establishing a register of processing operations.

Luigia Ingianni, Commissioner of the QFC Employment Standards Office said: “The participation of so many QFC firms to the event ‘Beyond GDPR: Data Protection in Qatar’ organised by PwC and the QFC Data Protection Directorate demonstrates that we are fully committed to ensure the protection of personal data and supporting QFC firms to become compliant with local and international regulations.” Speaking at the seminar Philip Mennie, PwC’s Digital Trust Partner, said: “Data Privacy Compliance is a multi-disciplinary topic - you need a range of skills to build an effective privacy programme including technology, legal, risk management and compliance, IT security.”

In an interactive panel session titled, “Fundamentals of a robust privacy programme - panel and interactive session”, Phil Mennie, Digital Trust Partner at PwC Middle East, Richard Chudzynski, PwC Legal and Daniel Patterson, Data Protection Officer with QFC Data Protection Directorate and Ibrahim Krishan DPO at QNB Group discussed how firms have responded to meeting data protection regulatory requirements with real-time feedback from participants on key data protection questions around processing registers, privacy notices and other operational best practices required for compliance with privacy laws.

Issa Habash, Other Assurance Services Leader said: “Organizations need to recognise data as an asset and promote a privacy conscious culture across their employees to implement an effective privacy program. Privacy has to be a process fix, enabled through technology.”

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