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Israeli Privacy Protection Authority Eager to Rewrite the Statute’s Term for “Information”

Publications / May 31, 2021

Article written by Haim Ravia and Dotan Hammer

The Privacy Protection Authority (PPA) issued for public comments a draft position paper in which it seeks to re-interpret the term “Information” as it concerns the Israeli Privacy Protection Law (PPL).

The PPL’s data protection regime applies to any entity that administers a “Database”. The PPL defines a “Database” as a collection of “Information” maintained in electronic form (with certain exceptions). “Information”, in turn, is defined in the PPL as any information about a person’s personality, personal status, intimate affairs, health condition, financial status, professional qualifications, opinions, or beliefs. Rather than promoting a legislative amendment to the forty-year-old PPL, the PPA now seeks to expand the definition of the term in the PPL through a “position paper”, a form of a non-binding instrument.

The position paper aims to significantly expand the application of the PPL by expounding the term “Information” to include not only those categories of data expressly spelled out in the PPL but also any data that could reasonably allow a person to ultimately obtain or conclude such categories of data. For example, according to the draft paper, location data, though not enumerated as “Information” in the PPL, could be indicative of the categories of data that are defined in the PPL.

In addition, the PPA’s draft paper indicates that when identifiable information may be used as a “key” allowing access to those categories of data about a person expressly specified in the PPL, it also will be considered “Information” under the PPL.

Among the types of information that the PPA’s expansive interpretation would add to the PPL’s explicitly defined categories are location data, telecommunication data, and data about a person’s consumption habits.

The draft position paper is open to public comments through June 15, 2021.

CLICK HERE to read the Israeli Privacy Protection Authority’s draft position paper on Personal Data under the Privacy Protection Law (in Hebrew).