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Israel: Privacy Protection Bill laid on Parliament table for first reading

The Israeli Parliament announced, on 5 January 2021, that it had laid the Privacy Protection Bill (Amendment No. 14), 5722-2022, amending the Protection of Privacy Law, 5741-1981 ('the Law') on the table for its first reading, following the Ministry of Justice's proposal for a legislative amendment of the Law in November 2021. In particular, the Israeli Parliament noted that, among other things, the key amendments would include, if passed, for the first time in Israel, the requirement of certain companies to appoint a data protection officer ('DPO'), the introduction of enforcement powers for the Privacy Protection Authority ('PPA'), and refined definitions for key terms to reflect societal and technological developments, in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) ('GDPR'). 

More specifically, the Israeli Parliament outlined that the Privacy Protection Bill would attempt to streamline several definitions; for example, the term 'Data' would be expanded to include any type of potentially identifiable information, the term 'Data with Special Sensitivity' (formerly 'Sensitive Data') would include information about an individual's political opinions, criminal records, geolocation, biometrics, and consumption habits, and the terms 'Database Owner' and 'Database Holder' would be recharacterised to the controller-processor relationship common in global privacy laws.  

Moreover, the Israeli Parliament highlighted that a main amendment of the Privacy Protection Bill would seek to empower the PPA to enforce the provisions of the law and confer broader administrative and criminal enforcement powers for unauthorised processing of data and violations of purpose limitation, with such violations permitting the PPA to impose criminal penalties and administrative fines. In addition, the Israeli Parliament states that the Privacy Protection Bill would authorise the PPA to impose administrative sanctions in amounts varying according to the nature of the violation, as well as the volume and sensitivity of the data involved.

You can read the bill here and track its progress here, both only available in Hebrew.

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