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  • The draft Data Protection Act, which is being circulated for review and comment from key stakeholders, is expected to be tabled in Parliament by the end of the next legislative year.
  • Making the disclosure today (November 17), State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, said the legislation reflects the Government’s commitment to developing a more robust framework aimed at protecting personal information in cyberspace.
  • The State Minister said the Government has been comprehensive in preparing the legislation as it requires extensive consultations.

The draft Data Protection Act, which is being circulated for review and comment from key stakeholders, is expected to be tabled in Parliament by the end of the next legislative year.

Making the disclosure today (November 17), State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, said the legislation reflects the Government’s commitment to developing a more robust framework aimed at protecting personal information in cyberspace.

He was speaking at the opening of the third annual Cybersecurity Conference at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters, Mona,  St. Andrew.

The State Minister said the Government has been comprehensive in preparing the legislation as it requires extensive consultations.

“It is going to be extremely far-reaching in terms of the implications for businesses, and for individuals. While it has not moved at the pace that I know people will want, it’s important that industry is fully bought in before we move to fully pass (this Act),” he explained.

The Data Protection Act will safeguard, in general, the privacy of individuals in relation to personal data as well as govern the collection, regulation, processing, keeping, use and disclosure of certain information in physical or electronic form.

The legislation will seek to set out the rights of the individual, with respect to their personal data. This will include, for example, the right to confirm whether or not personal information or data is being processed by an organisation.

It will also seek to determine the right to access information in the custody or control of an organisation, subject to certain exceptions, such as legal privileges; to take action to rectify incomplete, inaccurate or misleading information; or to block, erase, or destroy unlawful or unnecessary data.

The legislation will prevent personal data from being disclosed or transferred to third parties, without informing and obtaining consent from the data subject.

In addition, the transfer of personal information by organisations to recipients in other jurisdictions will be limited to areas that afford the same or greater levels of protection as provided the sender.

The two-day conference is being hosted by the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication, University of the West Indies, under the theme: ‘Data Protection, Financial Services and Customer Awareness’.

The Cybersecurity Conference is an initiative of the Mona ICT Policy Centre, CARIMAC, UWI, in association with the Internet Society (ISOC), International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining.

It has been organised over the last three years as part of a national response to the growing number of cyber threats, identity theft, hacking and other risks to online properties of businesses, Government departments and individuals.

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