ABU DHABI // A unit from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority is to be responsible for protecting the privacy and personal data of people who use the Zakat Fund's ATMs to calculate contributions and make payments. The Abu Dhabi-based fund signed a memorandum of understanding with the authority aimed at "co-ordinating and supporting the response to cyber security incidents", the state news agency, WAM, reported.
The authority's computer emergency response team, which is charged with ensuring the security of the web in the UAE, will maintain a "link between our machines and theirs", said Abdullah bin Aqida al Muhairi, the fund's secretary general. "They will secure the machines from hackers." The agreement also involves training and raising awareness of cyber security threats. The fund, which aids in collecting and distributing Zakat, an obligatory Muslim alms, raised Dh10 million (US$2.7m) in donations in the UAE in the first half of 2009. Founded in 2003 by Sheikh Zayed, the late President of the UAE, it has collected Dh130m since it began.
Concerns over privacy are key to the arrangement. "Some donors don't want others to know that they donate, or the size of their donations," said Mr al Muhairi. The agreement with the TRA was not a response to a security breach, but was rather a preventive measure, the fund said. firstname.lastname@example.org