ISLAMABAD: On Tuesday, the federal cabinet approved the Cloud First Policy and the Personal Data Protection Bill, safeguarding online data security and opening the path for Pakistan’s digital transformation.
To increase citizen participation and make government more transparent and responsible, the Cloud First Policy outlines five forms of data, including open data in the public sector.
The other is publicly available non-confidential public data about the public sector.
The restricted data related to public sector enterprises, activities, and services follows the limited data, which is not sensitive in nature.
Another category is confidential data, which is information that is not meant to be made public and may only be accessed by a limited number of persons with valid authorization, justifying moderate security measures.
The fourth type is secret data, which is information that requires the greatest level of protection from significant risks and whose compromise might endanger life or public security, result in financial losses, or cause substantial harm to public interests.
Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications Sylvia Mathews spoke about the specifics of the Cloud First Policy.
The minister underlined that the developed countries had a collective cloud service for their government departments to secure their official data and make it manageable.
“Pakistan is undergoing a digital revolution and has taken numerous initiatives for the provision of ICT (information and communication technology)-based solutions,” the policy stated.
“After this law is approved, the data centres of federal ministries and departments will be shifted to the central ‘Cloud’ and it will help reduce government expenditure, enhance data protection and increase the efficiency of online activities and services,” the minister said in a statement.
The cloud policy highlighted that the federal government had around 40 divisions and more than 600 affiliated departments, while there were numerous provincial ministries and their affiliated departments in the country.
It emphasised the necessity for a ‘Cloud Board,’ which would include an IT secretary as chairman, chief secretaries from each of the four provinces, and two IT specialists.
The ‘Cloud Office’ will be in charge of cloud service providers’ certification, quality, security, and departmental IT matters.
The Cloud Board will grant the needed capabilities and equipment to cloud service providers.
On the other hand, the Personal Data Protection Bill, which was also passed by the cabinet, would protect Pakistani residents’ internet data, information, and privacy.
The goal of the Personal Data Safety Bill, according to the minister, is to secure national security as well as the protection of internet data and personal information of ordinary persons, including businesspeople.
Various segments of society, including civil society, have demanded that all relevant governmental and commercial entities guarantee that their data, services, ICT products, and systems comply with cyber security regulations.