Salient features of the proposed #CyberSecurity bill;

The bill provides for accreditation for cybersecurity services providers.

The draft of the Online Safety Bill has been gazetted.

The gazette has been issued by the Minister of Public Security.

The "techlash," a strong backlash against major tech companies, is expected to lead to legal and regulatory changes in 2020. Access Partnership, a UK public policy consultancy, highlights 10 trends for tech leaders:

In Sri Lanka, cybersecurity and data protection laws are still evolving, and the National Digital Policy is set to be announced in 2020.

Technology Consultant Asela Waidyalankara expressed concerns about Sri Lanka's lack of clear regulations for managing digital data of individuals. He highlighted that people's data has been exploited, citing instances like unsolicited propaganda during elections. Waidyalankara mentioned that the Data Protection Act is in progress but may take a while to come into effect due to the need for organizations to adapt their processes. Additionally, the Cybersecurity Bill is also being finalized and is expected to be presented to the cabinet soon.

The Cybersecurity Bill will address online security and be introduced under the National Cyber Security Strategy. It aims to combat various cybercrimes such as credit card fraud, hacking, and cyber-terrorism. Sri Lanka has improved its cybersecurity ranking, currently standing at 69th, thanks to organizations like the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT) and ICTA actively monitoring and safeguarding the digital platform.

With both the Data Protection Act and Cybersecurity Act in progress, Sri Lanka aims to become a safer and more secure digital environment in the future.

Sri Lanka's police force, the Sri Lanka Police (SLP), has been slow to embrace digital transformation despite efforts in other government sectors. The SLP primarily uses digital solutions for limited purposes like email communication and basic data entry. However, recognizing the importance of data analytics in modern policing, there have been steps taken in this direction.

Predictive policing, which utilizes data analysis to optimize resource allocation and prevent crimes, is gaining traction globally. While Sri Lanka has some foundational elements in place, such as the digital Criminal Records Division (CRD) and advanced surveillance technologies like CCTV systems and drones, the missing piece is facial recognition technology.

The potential implementation plan involves strengthening the CRD's data analytics unit, upgrading CCTV systems with facial recognition capabilities, and leveraging the eNIC project for demographic data. However, predictive policing also raises concerns related to privacy and misuse, which require legal provisions and oversight.

In conclusion, embracing predictive policing could enhance the SLP's efficiency and transform it into a more agile and effective law enforcement agency, provided that privacy and ethical concerns are appropriately addressed.

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