Navigating State of Data Privacy in the Middle East

Navigating State of Data Privacy in the Middle East

Independent study to offer perspectives and considerations for GCC organisations embarking on the data privacy journey

Data has become a crucial driver for businesses in today's digital age, as organisations can leverage data from various sources, including consumer behavior and operational insights, to make informed decisions, improve efficiency, and drive innovation. However, consumers are increasingly concerned about how businesses handle their personal data. In order, to build consumer trust and experience, privacy has become a crucial agenda for organisations. Moreover, in the GCC new regulations to strengthen the data privacy regime have been introduced.

Protiviti conducted a survey of over 100 organisations in the Middle East Region across various industries, including BFSI, Enterprise, Telecom, and others, to understand the current state of data privacy programmes, key areas of focus, and expected roadmaps for the future. The publication provides an independent study of the survey results and offers perspectives and considerations for organisations embarking on the data privacy journey in the region.

Key takeaways

  • In addition to understanding local data privacy regulations, organisations should equally consider elements of increasing customer trust as part of their Data Privacy Programme.
  • Privacy responsibility and ownership seems to be scattered across the organisation (only 27% having dedicated Data Privacy Departments and 40% confirming Data Privacy is with Information Security Department), it is critical for senior leadership to define appropriate privacy driven roles and responsibilities and Governance structure
  • Based on the regulations and the adherence to respective timelines, privacy executives in the organisation must prioritise budget allocation for implementation of Data Privacy programme within the organisation
  • Strategising the roadmap for data privacy implementation will help organisations in enhancing consumer trust along with achieving compliance with local regulations
  • With 40% of organisations confirming their intention to acquire technologies for addressing privacy requests and Data Subject Access Requests, automation will be essential for organisations to ensure seamless fulfillment of privacy requirements.