Data Protection Stakeholder Consultancy

As a prelude to the review and revision of the Data Protection Act, the Ministry of Communications (MOC) invited key organisations and people from the public and private sectors for a Data Protection Stakeholder Consultancy.

The Minister of Communications, Senator the Honourable Donna Cox said the meetings were critical because data protection is a privacy, human rights, commerce, communications and media issue.

“But that list just touches the surface. Data is integrated in almost all aspects of our lives. It spurs economic activity and is an engine of change the world over. As a Government, we believe that data will change the way we do business and will affect the way we deliver services to citizens,” said Minister Cox.

Minister Cox said listening to stakeholders and garnering their views is the first step in this fact-finding mission to review and revise the Data Protection Act. The MOC collaborated with the Ministry of Public Administration and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for the two-day consultations which took place from Monday 4 November to Tuesday 5 November, 2019 at the Ministry of Public Administration.

ITU Caribbean Representative Cleveland Thomas told the meetings that data protection is not simply an internet issue given the wide-ranging implications - from cyber-security to freedom of information.

For this reason he said, it is important to get the views of those who will be interacting and affected by the Act.  He also reminded the stakeholders that the consultations were not intended to present a new policy or legislation but to hear from, and speak with key stakeholders.

The consultations were guided by Gilberto Martins de Almeida, a consultant to the ITU and covered areas such as terms of consent, data sharing by Government agencies and the right to be forgotten, among others.

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