Laws & Policies

Data Protection Law

All open data initiatives must respect privacy and data protection laws.

Oman issued its first Personal Data Protection Law in February 2022 and this law is expected to enter into force in February 2023. The Omani Personal Data Protection Law guarantees to individuals in Oman that their data will not be processed except with their consent and that a request to process personal data must be written in a clear, explicit, and understandable manner.

In particular, the Omani Personal Data Protection Law grants data subjects the right to revoke their consent; to request to have their data amended, updated, or blocked; to obtain a copy of their data; to transfer their data to another controller; to request to have their data deleted; and to be notified of any data breach relating to their data.

As this law is still very new, its scope of application is not yet tested. In regard to government open data, the law explicitly excludes government activities carried out as part of the implementation of the competences prescribed to government entities by law. This means that the collection of say, Royal Oman Police, of personal data as part of carrying out the its functions as the police will not require consent or compliance with any other provisions of this law.

However, it is reasonable to expect the law to apply in regard to uses beyond those required for the implementation of such competences. For example, releasing the traffic data as open data is not necessarily part of the actual function of the act of policing traffic, and therefore its release must be carried out in a manner that does not infringe the rights of individuals, by, for example, making sure that the data is anonymised and published in an aggregate manner.