As the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) work to transform from hydrocarbons-driven to data-driven economies, they will need to make significant and well-planned investments in digital infrastructure, particularly when it comes to the complex issue of data governance. They must take the lead in establishing regulatory and legal frameworks aligned with international standards in terms of data gathering, processing, and storing procedures. This report highlights the existing laws and regulations that govern data protection in the GCC while addressing their potential and limitations, along with the similarities and differences between the GCC’s legislative frameworks and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, and the impact of the GCC’s current data protection laws on individuals, the private sector, regulators, and governments.

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