Kathmandu: With data breaches and privacy violations increasing globally, Nepal urgently needs to strengthen its cyber laws, warned leading cyber lawyer Dr. Newal Chaudhary.
Dr. Chaudhary, an advocate at the Supreme Court of Nepal and Assistant Professor at Nepal Law Campus, said the country's current IT Act does not sufficiently protect citizens' personal data and privacy.
"We are seeing more Nepali citizens become victims of serious cybercrimes like identity theft, hacking, stalking, fraud and reputational damage. But our laws are inadequate and outdated compared to technological advancements," said Dr. Chaudhary.
He highlighted that many developed nations have comprehensive data protection laws with safeguards like the right to be forgotten, data portability, data minimization and purpose limitation. But Nepal still lacks robust frameworks for handling citizens' sensitive data securely.
"Government agencies and companies collect extensive personal details of users, often without informed consent. But there are no clear regulations around data usage, storage, sharing and retention periods," he added.
Dr. Chaudhary stressed that Nepal urgently needs stringent laws like the EU's GDPR that give citizens control over their data through consent requirements, access rights, deletion rights and opt-out options for data sharing. An independent data protection authority should also be formed to monitor compliance and penalize violations.
"Regulating how entities handle user data is no longer optional - it's a must. Sweeping reforms to IT Act and privacy laws are crucial for public trust in digital services," he asserted.
With Nepal's digital growth accelerating rapidly, he emphasized that the country cannot afford to leave citizens' rights unprotected online. Robust cyber laws will promote responsible data usage.
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