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Government Commits To Protection Of Personal Data


Jamaica News: Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams, says the Government is committed to providing Jamaicans with the requisite safeguards to have their personal data protected.

Speaking at the fourth biennial Jamaica Statistics Symposium and pre-conference workshop series, at the Regional Headquarters, University of the West Indies, Mona, on October 31, Mrs. Williams said passage of the Data Protection Bill, which is now before Parliament, supports the fundamental right of every Jamaican to have their privacy protected.

“The Bill which I am piloting is a significant piece of legislation, as it will usher in a new paradigm and establish a uniformed, robust and clear framework with respect to the protection of people’s data. The Ministry carefully sifted through over 271 submissions covering comments and recommendations made by appropriately 25 stakeholder groups, and this is to show you the importance of this Bill,” she said.

The Data Protection Bill provides guidelines on how personal data should be collected, processed, stored, used and disclosed in physical or electronic form.

It requires that data should only be obtained for specific lawful purposes, with the consent of the individual, and not be further used or processed in any way incompatible with the original purpose.

Mrs. Williams also noted that the Government remains resolute to developing Jamaica into a digital and knowledge-based society, “and as such, our virtual, our digital identities must be strategically protected, as we use a myriad of Internet-connected devices”.

“So, as the world enters the fourth industrial revolution… a revolution that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres, we call on you, our researchers, our statisticians, lean in, occupy the space, link academia to business and to government, and create what we all want from your data, from your skills – a better life,” she said.

The Bill also stipulates that the data collected must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; must not be held for longer than is necessary for the original purpose; must be protected using appropriate technical and organisational measures, and be disposed of in accordance with the regulations.

The Bill further provides that data must not be transferred to a State or territory outside of Jamaica, unless that State or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of the individual from whom the data has been collected.-30-


Source: JIS News

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