Data Protection Bill to be tabled in the House of Representatives soon

Science, Energy and Technology Minister Fayval Williams converses with Chief Executive Officer, of eGov Jamaica Limited Maurice Barnes.

Science, Energy and Technology Minister Fayval Williams, said the Data Protection Bill, now before a Joint Select Committee of Parliament, is expected to go before the House shortly.

Williams, who was speaking at the eGov Jamaica Limited (eGovJa) ‘Exec Connect’ networking event at Hope Gardens said the legislation, when enacted, will provide citizens with the requisite safeguards to control their personal information.

“We will have the right to ask any institution that collects data about us, to show us the data, and they will be obligated to show us. In that new environment, you will have rights about your personal data. You will hear more about that when we bring it to Parliament, and that is very close,” she noted.

Minister Williams and Board Chairman, eGov Jamaica Limited (eGovja), Professor Lloyd Waller listen to a point being made by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Paula Llewellyn.

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 should not be used or processed in any way incompatible with the original purpose. It further 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 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.

—JIS