A girl works on her laptop at a cafe in Hamra, Friday, July 27, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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The rise of digitally enabled mass data collection sparked a global debate on where to draw the line between privacy, rights and security.As Barjas explained, current legislation does not have a dedicated law concerning the protection of personal data – although personal data is mentioned within other Lebanese legislation. Currently, a personal data protection bill dating back to 2005 is being debated before a Parliamentary commission. In August 2015, all Lebanese passports were updated to include biometric data.Mehdi argued at the launch that the lack of public information on how personal data is stored – combined with the lack of a legal framework to hold institutions accountable in case of leaks – is leaving Lebanese nationals vulnerable to abuse.According to the report, Alfa and touch – both government-managed telephone companies – are among the businesses benefitting from the voluntary dissemination of personal data for commercial purposes.A new law attempting to regulate data collection and use – known as the "Electronic Transactions and Personal Data Bill" – is currently under study.
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