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Mittwoch, 16.01.2019
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The Data Protection Bill 2018 intended to promote the protection of personal data processed by public and private bodies has been passed in the National Assembly of St. Kitts and Nevis.

The Bill, which had its first reading in September 2015, was debated in the House on Thursday.

Mover of the Bill, Minister of Information Technology, Attorney-General Vincent Byron Jr. said the objective of the bill is to safeguard personal data from unlawful processing by public and private bodies. He said it would also promote transparency and accountability in the processing of personal data.

“The practice of holding or using personal data is certainly not new, but when this is combined with the explosion of the current technology including electronic and online transactions, it has become very easy to collect and store vast amounts of personal information. Government is undoubtedly one of the largest custodians of personal information, but also the private sector, including financial and medical institutions, is also the custodian of a large amount of personal information. This Data Protection bill, therefore, would seek to protect individuals by requiring organizations to notify persons as to the purpose for collecting their personal information and to follow certain policies and practices for sharing such information.”

Protecting personal data has become increasingly important in the technological age as more and more personal and corporate business is transacted online.

“There are several reasons that make it necessary to have this legislation to regulate the collection and use of personal data. Technology now makes it easy to gather, to receive, disseminate and manipulate huge amounts or personal data. This has given rise to concerns that the privacy of individuals can easily be compromised. A second reason, of course, would be that security and privacy are often cited as some of the main reasons for the slow growth of electronic transactions including e-commerce and e-government. And recently a CARIFORUM wide survey showed it to be the number one concern of businesses in doing business online.”

The Attorney General said with legislation now in place to protect personal data, it may drive more E-commerce in the federation.

“The legislation, therefore, may thus promote e-government and e-commerce as the availability of legal protection of personal data may encourage consumers and businesses to transact online. And so therefore, this bill that we have before us is of paramount importance to the citizens of this country.”

Opposition MP Marcella Liburd said the legislation would not provide the people with a sense of security about the data being protected because they do not trust the government.

“With respect to the bill today and the bill yesterday, it’s the same thing a lot of talk, talk just for politics but there is no substance and what was done is completely different from what you’re hearing in here. This is just for talk. No one in this country, hardly anyone in this country has any trust in this government. So how would they have any trust that their data would be protected?”


Autor(en)/Author(s): LK Hewlett

Quelle/Source: WINN FM, 05.05.2018

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