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Data Protection Act tabled in Parliament

Thursday, October 05, 2017

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Data Protection Act was tabled in the House of Representatives on October 3 by Minister of Science, Energy and Technology (MSET), Dr Andrew Wheatley.

Under the Act, private and public sector entities will need to implement the necessary technical and institutional support to ensure greater protection of personal data within their custody or control, according to a release from the ministry.

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

Wheatley said it is fitting that the Act has been tabled during October, which is being observed as Cyber Security Awareness Month. He said that with the increased use of digital and electronic communications in Jamaica, citizens need proper protection in the use of their personal data and other sensitive information. Strengthening the regulatory environment, the Technology Minister states, will promote more effective and widespread use of technology components.

“We must ensure that the personal information of citizens is safe and secure, and that the gatekeepers of citizen's information are held accountable for its use. The protection of information is not a privilege, it is a right, and that right will be protected with the passing of the Data Protection Act,” Wheatley said.