News from the OPM

Data Protection Act Will Strengthen NIDS – PM Holness

Data Protection Act Will Strengthen NIDS – PM Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Data Protection Bill which has already been tabled in Parliament will strengthen the Government’s ability to protect the privacy of Jamaicans.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday (November 21) as the government approved amendments to the National Identification Bill, the Prime Minister said privacy in the modern world must mean that the State is able to effectively protect the privacy of individuals.

Consequently, he said the Data Protection Bill is integral to the implementation of the NIDS.

“Every day Jamaicans give up their privacy. We give it up to Facebook; we give it up to Twitter, we give it up to telephone companies; we just give it up. And there is a notion that privacy is ‘nobody knows’, but that’s not privacy. What is privacy is that you have a State that protects your information so only those who should have access get access,” stated Prime Minister Holness.

The Prime Minister asserted that the integrity of the state will be bolstered by legislation such as the Data Protection Bill.

“Privacy is not anonymity. And in today’s State, more than ever, you need a strong, honest State with integrity to defend the privacy of the people. Because if it were to ever come to the case that the telephone company decides how to use your information or Twitter decides how to use your information or Google decides how to use your information, who is going to protect you. Who are you going to turn to for redress?” he remarked.

He added that “The argument must not be about this Bill (NIDS). The argument must be how soon you are going to pass the Data Protection Act”.

The Data Protection Bill was tabled in Parliament on October 3 by Minister of Science, Energy and technology, Dr Andrew Wheatley.