Posted on Oct 21, 2020
Islamabad, (October 21, 2020): An independent and autonomous Privacy Commission – without any political or executive influence – is essential for protection of citizen’s digital data and redressal for the privacy related violations. The constitution of a commission for the safeguarding fundamental rights, including the right to privacy must be in line with the guidelines of the Paris Principles.
Bytes for All (B4A) has released a report regarding the scope of a privacy commission in Pakistan. The report features the cases of different privacy commissions from Asia region, their structures, functioning and powers vested with them. It also analyses whether these models can be replicated in Pakistan for the establishment of a commission for data protection.
The report observed that data controllers and processors of personal data do not invest a lot of money in...
Posted on Oct 9, 2020
ISLAMABAD, (October 9, 2020): Bytes for All is shocked to receive the news of arbitrary blocking of social media platform TikTok in Pakistan by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on the pretext of vulgarity and indecency. This is an act of brutal censorship that is unacceptable in any democratic society. We strongly condemn this action by PTA, which is going to be detrimental to fundamental rights of the citizens including the right to freedom of expression, access to information, and economic and cultural rights of Pakistani citizens.
TikTok is known to be the most popular social media platform among common people in the country, especially the youth, who use it to express their artistic and political expression making it an alternative space for their aspirations, quality entertainment and creativity.
The platform provides its users...
Posted on Jun 12, 2020
Islamabad, (June 12, 2020): The Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020 and the process of their notification is flawed as the government has not used the legal procedures as prescribed in the parent law. The centralization of excessive arbitrary powers in the position of National Coordinator is the biggest lacuna and again in contravention of the law; neither the position meets the principles of legality, necessity, proportionality; nor does it fulfill the proposition of legitimacy in a democracy.
Legal experts closely involved in the cases of digital rights; and the representatives of media and civil society raised these reservations at a virtual consultation organized by Bytes for All (B4A), Pakistan on the Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm...
Posted on May 15, 2020
Islamabad, (May 15, 2020): Bytes for All, Pakistan (B4A) rejects the proposed draft of the Personal Data Protection Bill 2020 in its current shape, believing that it would serve as a safeguard for the perpetrators of the right to privacy than to safeguard the citizens personal data. However, it is welcoming that the government has shown its willingness to enact this important law.
Bytes for All has grave concerns over the draft bill which is fraught with problematic provisions, highly inconsistent with the constitutional guarantees and the global human rights frameworks. The bill contains ambiguous language in various sections that invokes subjectivity and can be misinterpreted according to the authorities’ demands. The grey areas and ambiguous language in the draft bill suggests that the basic...
Posted on Apr 12, 2020
Islamabad, (April 11, 2020): In this difficult time, when Coronavirus is causing catastrophe all over the country, several parts of Balochistan and the tribal district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa are facing an ongoing disconnection of telecommunication networks and lack of 3G and 4G data services, which is a grave cause of concern for Bytes For All (B4A), Pakistan. B4A believes that under the current circumstances, denial of access to the Internet and related information and communications technologies is a violation of fundamental rights. Denial of services even if in the name of volatile security situation is still highly disproportionate and unreasonable, as it infringes upon range of fundamental human rights including right to information, health services, education, economic opportunities, expression, and others. At this time, B4A joins the request by the...
Posted on Apr 7, 2020
The outbreak of Novel Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) across the globe has forced majority population to be confined to their homes in order to prevent the spread of pandemic. Workforce globally has largely been affected with the pandemic, and the need of the hour is to better ‘stay home and stay safe’.
Previously reluctant organizations, be it governmental, non-governmental, corporate, social entrepreneurship, or educational institutions have no other options left, but to change their work habits and bring new strategies to workflow management by utilizing, and further unpacking the potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs).
Digital tools and applications are being used around the world by individuals and organizations in order to...