Data Protection Key to Crime Fighting – Dr. Chang

Photo: Adrian Walker National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, addressing the opening ceremony for the American Chamber of Commerce in Jamaica’s (AMCHAM) inaugural regional data security conference, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, on Wednesday (September 12). The event is being held from September 12 to 13 under the theme: ‘Your Data, Your Rights: What Individuals and Companies Should Know’.

Story Highlights

  • National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says Government’s move to protect personal data, through the passage of robust legislation, will play a key role in crime fighting.
  • He pointed out that illicit access to and manipulation of data remains a major challenge for governments and business interests globally and is an area that the Government of Jamaica is “really concerned about.”
  • “In Jamaica, we have observed where criminals use individuals’ sensitive information to perpetuate crimes [such as lotto scamming],” he noted.

National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says Government’s move to protect personal data, through the passage of robust legislation, will play a key role in crime fighting.

He pointed out that illicit access to and manipulation of data remains a major challenge for governments and business interests globally and is an area that the Government of Jamaica is “really concerned about.”

“In Jamaica, we have observed where criminals use individuals’ sensitive information to perpetuate crimes [such as lotto scamming],” he noted.

“The [aim], therefore, is to create the legal framework that will provide protection to the law-abiding citizen while creating parameters, which can be utilised to fight and counter the activities of criminals,” he added.

The Minister was speaking at the opening ceremony for the American Chamber of Commerce in Jamaica’s (AMCHAM) inaugural two-day regional data security conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, on Wednesday (September 12).

The Data Protection Act, which is currently being reviewed by a Joint Select Committee of Parliament, will safeguard 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.

“We consider it a robust and balanced piece of legislation [and] once it is passed, we will be joining several Caribbean neighbours, who have already adopted such a Bill,” Dr. Chang said.

He stressed the importance of data security to national security and the entire development infrastructure, noting that most modern economies globally are driven entirely by data, the efficient management of which has become the “keystone” of successful enterprises across all sectors.

The Minister commended AMCHAM for hosting the conference to bring awareness about the issues of data protection, privacy and the individual.

He said that the Government is committed to ensuring that Jamaicans “can understand the value of managing our data and giving the required support so that we can, in fact, have a robust cybersecurity system… and a robust economy that is heavily data-driven.”

The conference, which concludes on Thursday (September 13), is being held under the theme: ‘Your Data, Your Rights – What Individuals and Companies Should Know.’

The event, which features presentations by key local, regional and international speakers, is being held to highlight information relating to data security across the Caribbean, while providing insights on what individuals and companies should know to protect themselves and their investments.

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