Govt Approves First-Ever Cloud Policy and Personal Data Protection Bill

On Tuesday, the federal cabinet approved Pakistan’s first Cloud Policy as well as the Personal Data Protection Bill.

According to sources familiar with the situation, Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications Syed Amin Ul Haque confirmed the cabinet’s approval of the policy and the bill following the cabinet meeting, stating that the Personal Data Protection Bill would become an Act after Parliament’s approval.

Amin Ul Haque explained the bill’s goal is ensuring the privacy of citizens’ online data as well as that of public and private institutions. He stated that all agencies and institutions involved would ensure that data, services, and systems were compatible with cyber security.

In reference to the Cloud Policy, the Minister stated that the initial policy would apply to federal ministries, departments, and autonomous agencies. He stated that all federal ministries and departments’ data centers would be relocated to clouds equipped with standard protocols.

The Minister expressed concern about the high cost of various data centers for ministries and agencies, as well as the associated upgrade process. He went on to say that these reforms would help reduce spending.

Following approval, the IT Ministry will establish a Cloud Board, a Cloud Office, and a Cloud Acquisition Office. The Cloud Board will be composed of the Secretary of Information Technology, the Chief Secretaries of the provinces, and two IT experts.

The Cloud Office will be in charge of cloud service providers’ accreditation, quality, security, and departmental IT affairs. In addition, the Cloud Acquisition Office will assist various organizations in obtaining cloud services.

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