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Data Protection Leader
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Volume: 14 Issue: 10
(October 2017)

Keywords:
data protection act data controller data processor data transfer

Jurisdictions:
jamaica

Jamaica: Data protection bill addresses business concerns

The Jamaican Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Andrew Wheatley, tabled, on 3 October 2017, a bill for the Data Protection Act 2017 (‘the Bill’) in Parliament. If passed, the Bill would apply to data controllers established in Jamaica or in any place where Jamaican law applies by virtue of international public law, and to data controllers not established in Jamaica but that use equipment in the country for processing data, so long as not merely for transit purposes. The Bill contains a list of definitions of key concepts such as biometric data, consent, genetic data, health record, personal data and sensitive personal data; and provisions on data subjects’ rights.

Nicole Foga, Managing Partner at Foga Daley, told Data Protection Leader, “The Bill was tabled on 3 October 2017 and the first Jamaican newspaper article on the Bill was published on 6 October 2017, so it is highly probable that most companies are unaware that the Bill has been tabled and would, therefore, not yet have had the opportunity to review its contents […] While it is arguably premature to speculate on compliance levels, undoubtedly companies that are used to doing a lot of transactional business with companies in Europe and North America will already be familiar with data protection requirements. It is anticipated that the passage of this legislation will be welcomed by businesses whose trading partners were reluctant to do business in Jamaica due to the absence of a data protection legal framework.”

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