Qatar issues Personal Data Privacy Law

Sunday, November 6, 2016

HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Thursday (November 13) issued Law No 13 of 2016 on protecting personal data.

The law includes provisions related to the rights of individuals to protect the privacy of their personal data.

According to Article 2, the legislation refers only to personal data that is electronically processed, or obtained, gathered or extracted in preparation for electronic processing, or when a combination of electronic and traditional processing is used.

It does not apply to personal data processed by individuals privately or within a family context, or to any personal data gathered for official surveys and statistics.

According the law, businesses are now banned from sending direct marketing messages electronically without obtaining an individual’s prior consent.

According to the law, organizations must adhere to basic data protection responsibilities. This includes ensuring data handlers are properly trained and that necessary precautions are made to “protect personal data from loss, damage, modification, disclosure or being illegally accessed.”

It also includes articles that require consent from individuals before their personal information can be used by an organization.

According to Article 17, the owner or operator of any website related to children must put up a policy about how it manages the information of minors. These website operators must also get the consent of the child’s parent when processing their information.

The law is effective starting from its date of publication in the official gazette.