Featured Opposition spokesman on Science and Technology, Julian Robinson wants Prime Minister Holness to fast track the data protection bill.
KINGSTON, Jamaica October 2, 2018 - Opposition Spokesman on Science and Technology, Julian Robinson wants Prime Minster Andrew Holness, who has ministerial responsibility for the Technology Ministry to give priority to the passage of the Data Protection Bill.
The Data Protection Bill was placed before a Joint Select Committee of Parliament in late 2017. The last meeting of the Committee was on March 27, 2018, where the technical team from Parliament was asked to prepare a report on the submissions received, for the Committee to deliberate on. The Committee was chaired by former Minister Andrew Wheatley.
Robinson says “Since then, there has been no communication on when the Joint Select Committee will resume its sittings to conclude deliberations on this very far reaching piece of legislation. Neither is there any clarity on who will chair the Joint Select Committee now that former Minister Wheatley has been separated from the Ministry. I am again calling on Prime Minister Holness to appoint a Minister to the portfolio area of Science and Technology, so that the critical business of the nation is not placed on hold.”
Robinson notes that it is important that this legislation be given priority as recent international developments such as the Facebook data breach, where the accounts of over 50 million users of that social media platform were compromised, highlight the need for data protection laws and provisions.
The Irish Data Protection Commission has indicated that it could fine Facebook up to US$1.63 Billion or 4% of its global revenues if it finds that Facebook did not do enough to protect the security of its users. (Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-faces-potential-1-63-billion-fine-in-europe-over-data-breach-1538330906) Similar provisions exist in the current Data Protection Bill in Jamaica.
Robinson also notes that the entry into force of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation on May 25, 2018 has significant implications for Jamaican companies who do business with residents or businesses from the EU.
Against the background of the GDPR now being operational in the EU, the ability of Jamaican entities to do business with EU entities will be contingent on Jamaica being able to demonstrate that it offers a level of protection of personal data that is equivalent to that enshrined in the GDPR.
Last modified onTuesday, 02 October 2018 11:39
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