October 17, 2021, 9:39 pm
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) believes that the proposed draft ‘Personal Information Protection Act’ has been used as a tool to control ‘against’ in the name of protecting personal information and to impede independent expression.
TIB executive director said in a statement on Thursday (September 16). Iftekharuzzaman expressed this view.
He said the law, instead of protecting public information, should in some way create public opinion on the government’s controversial activities, corruption and irregularities and impede individual expression and freedom of speech. The law was not used to create a frightening situation and was motivated, so the government demanded transparency and a wide range of discussions and opinions. His demand is to enact progressive and timely people-friendly laws.
Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said similar laws have been enacted in many countries around the world, including the European Union, to protect the information provided on these platforms in line with the growing importance of digital space in personal life. In most cases, the law’s main purpose is to ensure the privacy of people’s personal information, as well as to ensure that individuals feel safe in the virtual world.
“But in our case, it is disappointing but true that the laws that have already been enacted with the words ‘security’ and ‘protection’ have largely proved to be deterrent,” he said. As well as the concerns raised by the stakeholders involved in the drafting of the existing controversial ‘Digital Security Act’, it has been literally reflected in recent times. In most cases, we see the law being used arbitrarily to consolidate the government’s position, as well as to silence independent critics and government critics instead of ‘security’.
Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said, “It is true that there is no opportunity to deny the need for ‘Personal Data Protection Act’ like other countries in the need of time, but the fear is the mentality, tendency and purpose of our ruling party!” Therefore, in order to ensure that the proposed law is more people-friendly, protects personal information and facilitates independent expression of opinion, the law needs to be enacted on the basis of discussion and opinion with the participation of all parties on a large scale.