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Data Protection Bill Supports Fundamental Right of Every Jamaican


Permanent Secretary (Assigned) in the Ministry of Science and Technology, Wahkeen Murray says the Data Protection Bill supports the fundamental right of every Jamaican to have their privacy protected.
Ms. Murray, who was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Regional Data Security Conference hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica (AMCHAM) and e-Biz ProTrain on September 12, 2018 said the Government recognizes personal data as an individual’s identity and as such should be safeguarded.
“The legislation supports the Jamaican Constitution through the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, which states that everyone has the right to the “protection of privacy of other property and of communication,” she said.
The Permanent Secretary (Assigned) affirmed that the Bill seeks to put an end to the fragmented approach to secrecy, confidentiality and privacy. It establishes, she said, a uniform, robust and clear mandate to protect people’s personal information through a legal and regulatory regime that is in line with high international standards.
“If we require individuals to provide us with personal information about themselves, or if the nature of our business and operations cause us to store identifiable and often times sensitive information about individuals, then we have a responsibility to protect that data,” she said.
The Data Protection Bill was tabled in Parliament in October 2017 and is now being reviewed by a Joint Select Committee of Parliament.
The Bill contains “standards” for processing personal information. These include the requirement that data be obtained only 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. It stipulates that the data being collected must be adequate, relevant and not excessive to the desired purpose, it must be accurate and where necessary kept up-to-date and it must not be held for longer than is necessary for the original purpose.

The Bill stipulates that collected data must be protected using appropriate technical and organizational measures, and be disposed of in accordance with the regulation. It further states 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.
The Regional Data Security Protection Conference is being held at the Jamaica Conference Centre under the theme -“Your Data, Your Rights- What individuals and companies should know”.
It features top local and international cyber and data protection experts and addresses a number of data security trends, developments and concerns.