The ADGM Takes Action to Protect Data as the Country Welcomes the World This EXPO

What does the ADGM regulations entail:

A core function of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (‘ADGM’) is to spearhead the introduction of data protection regulation amongst Abu Dhabi intermediary companies. In order to achieve so, ADGM has recently released a set of rules governing the dues to be paid for data protection and the fines to be levied in violation thereof.  The new rules include a fee which needs to be paid upfront by the controller to the commissioner prior to the start of any data processing activities. It also stipulates the payment to be made on renewal. Furthermore, as per the regulations, a fine has also been introduced if the fees or the renewal fees is not paid by the company.

Access the Data Protection Regulations (Fees) Rules 2021 here.

The rules also allow for a transition period for the implementation of these new regulations and stipulate that for entities registered prior to 14 February 2021, the regulations will be applicable from 2022 onwards while the other companies would be mandated to follow suit from August this year (2021) onwards. This transition period should encourage existing companies in seeking compliance as it provides adequate time to mobilize the required staff, implement best practices and report to ADGM.

These changes come in the backdrop of the efforts to create a more robust and cohesive mechanism for data protection for employees and individuals. This goes on to ensuring compliance with the broader ecosystem of Data protected environment that the country is gradually shifting towards. ADGM is also slated to release several guidance documents meant to assist with the interpretation of the Data protection regulations on its website.

EXPO 2020 and the need for legitimate data processing:

As the country gears for its very first Expo starting from October of 2021, it also welcomes several countries to both witness and participate on a global scale.

Given the magnanimity of functions and the inflow of people, the exchange of personal data will be on an all-time high: legitimate and secure data processing will be of utmost importance to ensure that sensitive data is not leaked or misused.

In summary, the publication of Data Protection rules only endorses the intentions of the free-zones at enhancing the data protection mechanism in Abu Dhabi. This move is also particularly promising as it contributes to the overarching importance of protecting free-flowing data and the current emphasis on regulation of the same. The rules will be complementing the DIFC guidelines aimed at data protection and would lend UAE a credible image in the sphere of data protection.

To discuss further this new rule or any other data protection related matters, please feel free to contact Raka Roy.