Gov’t looks to complete Data Protection Bill, ICT Act this year
Technology Minister Fayval Williams speaking at the Global Digital Marketing Summit. (Photo: Marlon Reid)
The Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology is targeting the completion of the Data Protection Bill and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Act as key as priorities to be completed in the financial year.
Speaking at the Global Digital Marketing Summit at the Spanish Court Hotel in St Andrew on Wednesday, Technology Minister Fayval Williams said these legislative initiatives are urgently needed to protect the Jamaican society while using technology.
According to Williams, businesses must become "more agile for the times" to remain competitive and relevant to the clients being served, by retooling, upskill and strategise.
She said with more businesses using technology for growth and development, the Data Protection Bill is essential to ensure that these entities' digital footprints are not being utilised in a nefarious way.
Williams said, "organisations of all sizes have growing volumes of information flowing into their databases on a daily basis”, hence, the finalisation of the Data Protection Bill is a high priority on our legislative agenda for this year.
"This legislation will protect the privacy of individuals, setting guidelines of how personal data can be collected, processed, stored, used and disclosed," Williams said.
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According to Williams, while technology has increased the ease of doing business on the island, it has made the inhabitants vulnerable to cyber threats, which is the reason for the urgent need for the Information and Communications Technology Act.
She said the act will provide the ICT sector with the adequate legislative and regulatory framework, which addresses current trends and emerging technologies, competitiveness and consumer protection.
Minister Williams said that the government is cognizant of the importance of technology to building the Jamaican society, which will help grow the economy, which is part of the reasons behind the current push to cover the legislative framework for protection.
She said that in bringing the island in the digital technology world, the ministry, through e-Government Jamaica will be embarking on several initiatives aimed at enhancing and improving the pace at which business is conducted across the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDA).
Williams said, "we continue to design and implement a government-wide area network (GovNet) which will facilitate a secured, high-speed, reliable and resilient platform to interconnect all government entities.
"This network will connect MDAs to facilitate shared services, including data centre computing services (GovCloud), consolidated voice communication system (GovTalk) and consolidated email system (GovMail)," she said.