Gov’t to boost pro­tec­tion of per­sonal info on­line

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOMETHING EXTRA -

THE GOV­ERN­MENT will be mak­ing changes to crit­i­cal pieces of leg­is­la­tion that will en­able a more ro­bust frame­work in pro­tect­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion in cy­berspace.

Th­ese in­clude the Data Pro­tec­tion Act, which is slated to be tabled in Par­lia­ment next year, and the es­tab­lish­ment of a sin­gle reg­u­la­tor for in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy (ICT).

This was dis­closed by Min­is­ter of Sci­ence, En­ergy and Tech­nol­ogy Dr An­drew Wheat­ley, dur­ing the fourth Na­tional Cy­ber­se­cu­rity Con­fer­ence, held at the Re­gional Head­quar­ters of the Uni­ver­sity of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, on Tues­day.

“Com­mon sense dic­tates that those two must be the pri­or­ity, and so we will be de­liv­er­ing on those and we are way ad­vanced. I think draft­ing in­struc­tions were given as it re­lates to the Data Pro­tec­tion Act, while the con­sul­tants are wrap­ping up as it re­lates to the sin­gle ICT reg­u­la­tor. They made a pre­sen­ta­tion to Cab­i­net re­cently and Cab­i­net is still mulling over (that),” he said.

Wheat­ley said pro­tect­ing the iden­tity and in­for­ma­tion of Ja­maicans is in­te­gral and nec­es­sary “if we want to push this agenda of en­sur­ing that we in­cor­po­rate ICT in our ev­ery­day lives.”

The Data Pro­tec­tion Act will safe­guard, in gen­eral, the pri­vacy of in­di­vid­u­als in re­la­tion to per­sonal data as well as gov­ern the col­lec­tion, reg­u­la­tion, pro­cess­ing, keep­ing, use and dis­clo­sure of cer­tain in­for­ma­tion in phys­i­cal or elec­tronic form.

SET OUT RIGHTS

The leg­is­la­tion will seek to set out the rights of the in­di­vid­ual, with re­spect to their per­sonal data. This will in­clude, for ex­am­ple, the right to con­firm whether per­sonal in­for­ma­tion or data is be­ing pro­cessed by an or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Es­tab­lish­ment of the stand-alone con­verged ICT reg­u­la­tor will in­volve the fu­sion of the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions reg­u­la­tory func­tions of the Of­fice of the Utilities Reg­u­la­tion, the ra­dio spec­trum tech­ni­cal func­tions of the Broad­cast­ing Com­mis­sion, and the spec­trum man­age­ment func­tions of the Spec­trum Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity.

In the mean­time, Wheat­ley en­cour­aged Ja­maicans to take the nec­es­sary pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures to pro­tect their iden­ti­ties while they are on­line.

“We need to use strong pass­words, we need to think be­fore we click, beware of on­line of­fers or emails ask­ing for per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, and check the web­sites you visit,” he said.

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