Islam is a religion that teaches respect, that recognizes the importance of individual rights and that preaches the honoring of freedom and equality. In the article the author attempts to examine the importance and sacredness of privacy in Islam. He also tries to locate the extent to which the right to privacy has been regulated in different Islamic countries and the methods of regulation used. Pakistan is used a case study to examine how laws pertaining to data protection have been drafted with the European market in mind. The author attempts to analyze whether the laws are in accordance with and based on Islamic principles of privacy.
The article first outlines the references to privacy in the Holy Quran. These range from verses stressing the importance of privacy in the home and of family members. The importance of chastity and modesty is stressed upon, as is the magnitude of guarding against the spreading of private information, especially, that which concerns an individual’s wrongs. The author argues that private information can be recognized as a form of property and that according to Islam individuals are completely free to do as they please in their own private spheres of life.
The author then analyses the data protection and information law in Pakistan using the country as a case study. He shows how the areas identified for regulation and control include banking, data protection, cyber crime etc. He goes on to outline the main features of the law including the fact that it applies to data processing taking place within Pakistan and also focusing on how it facilitates without regulating.
The author concludes that the law has been drafted to help in the growth of the outsourcing industries in Pakistan and that the law is in keeping with the Islamic principles of the Holy Quran and Sunnah. The criticism of the law is restrained to the fact that it is applicable only to the private sector and not the public sector.