Cayman Islands Working Toward Data Protection Framework

The government of the Cayman Islands is currently reviewing draft legislation that, if passed, would institute a robust data protection framework. The draft legislation comes four years after the Cayman Islands enacted the Freedom of Information (FOI) Law and will soon be available for public comment. The DPL “is modeled after the EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) and on the UK’s Data Protection Act 1998,” says Deputy Information Commissioner Jan Liebaers. “It is structured more concisely than its predecessors, with consecutive parts dealing with principles, rights of data subjects, notification responsibilities of data controllers, exemptions, functions of the information commissioner and enforcement.”

Additionally, the proposal would place the DPL under the “auspices of the existing freedom of information commissioner. “As deputy information commissioner,” notes Liebaers, “I will likely play a central role in the planning and implementation of the new law and in the enforcement once it comes into effect.” Liebaers says the driving force behind the draft bill is to gain adequacy status from the European Commission. Attaining adequacy, he says, would not only allow more fluid data flows, but also “strengthen links between businesses in the Caymans and the EU as well as multinationals which do business in the Cayman Islands.” Fluid, strengthened links would make it “easier for EU businesses to outsource certain operations involving personal data to the Cayman Islands.”

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Proposed New Privacy Law Open for Comment

A draft data protection bill aimed at regulating data collection and use by organizations in the public and private sectors has been released. The Data Protection Bill 2012 would provide individuals with more rights to access and control their personal data. A representative of the Information and Communications Technology Authority said, “Data protection affects everyone and the working group seeks to present a comprehensive bill to Cabinet that suits the needs of the Cayman Islands while meeting international standards.” Officials said that the members of the Data Protection working group came up with a draft, which would not be over burdensome on government or the private sector but at the same time promotes best practice. Although the working group believes many businesses and organizations will already be in compliance with the provisions of the proposed legislation, the bill seeks to provide a minimum standard for protection of personal data.

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