Knesset and Sa’ar Move Toward Greater Cyber ​​Defense

The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee held hearings on Monday to try to push for greater cyber protection for the country’s citizens after a series of mega-hacks in recent weeks exposing personal data.

This came a day after the Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved a bill by Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar on Sunday to give the government greater enforcement powers regarding privacy rights, including higher fines. .

However, the Knesset hearing featured a fight between the committee chairman, Gilad Kariv, on the one hand, and the Privacy Authority official, Ali Calderon, and the legal advisor to Israel’s National Cyber ​​Directorate ( RIDC), Amit Ashkenazi, on the other, on the way forward.

If Kariv wanted Calderón and Ashkenazi to give him a clear menu of options that the Knesset could sign into law to protect personal data and incentivize private companies to better protect personal data, he was told instead that the problem was complex.

Calderón said that 75% of cases end in some type of actual execution.

A man holds a laptop while a cyber code is projected onto him in this illustrated image taken on May 13, 2017 (credit: REUTERS / KACPER PEMPEL / ILLUSTRATION / FILE PHOTO)

Ashkenazi said that law enforcement is not black and white and that, informally, the INCD has made substantial progress in getting the private sector to better protect citizens’ data.

This left Kariv dumbfounded, as he had expected an apology or was willing to go to war with private sector companies to achieve a rapid paradigm shift.

There was no clear menu on what to do next at the end of the hearing, although officials did reference Sa’ar’s bill.

However, when asked how much the Sa’ar bill increased fines for private companies that did not adequately protect customer data, his spokeswoman referred the issue to a spokeswoman for the Justice Ministry.

In turn, he said he would need to review the issue since the actual amount of the fines could still be under negotiation.

Very low-grade past fines from the privacy authority, including Likud’s exposure of more than 6.4 million citizen data during a recent election, were considered to have almost no deterrent value.

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