Bangladesh Digital Policy South Asia Technology & Innovation

Issue Brief

May 8, 2023

Bangladesh draft data protection act 2023: Potential and pitfalls

By Christabel Randolph

The Bangladesh government’s updated draft data protection bill is a welcome revision of its 2022 attempt to address the country’s lack of a comprehensive data protection law, but there is still room for constructive change to heighten regulatory certainty.

The Information and Communications Technology Division of the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunication, and Information Technology released the proposed Data Pro­tection Act 2023 (DPA 2023 or the bill) 1 on March 14—just days after the publication of the South Asia Center’s March issue brief—and the revised version responds to some of the criticism of the digital protectionism and restrictive provisions on digital business activity in the 2022 draft.

Specifically, the proposed legislation reflects an operational sensibility based on stakeholder feedback on significant issues. It has incorporated more flexibility to frame rules to address changing situations, provided for a transition period, relaxed data localization requirements, and expressly recognized the importance of interna­tional cooperation and safeguard measures for facilitating data flows.

The South Asia Center serves as the Atlantic Council’s focal point for work on the region as well as relations between these countries, neighboring regions, Europe, and the United States.

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