Jamaican News

Review of Cybercrimes Act to Begin Shortly – Dr. Wheatley

Photo: Claudia Gardner

Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says a review of the Cybercrimes Act is to be undertaken shortly.

The legislation, which addresses computer-specific offences, was passed in 2015 and is scheduled for review this year.

It incorporates offences related to computer fraud or forgery, the use of computers for malicious communication, and unauthorised disclosure of investigation. “As the technology evolves, the Act must evolve as well to be able to capture technology as it is, and so the cybercrimes Act is to be reviewed. In fact, we are putting together an in-house team to start the process of reviewing,” Dr. Wheatley said.

He was speaking at the Cybersecurity and Legal Implications event hosted by Xsomo International Limited at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston on March 7.

As it relates to the Data Protection Bill, which is now before a Joint Select Committee of Parliament, Dr. Wheatley noted that it will safeguard 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.

“The Data Protection Bill was motivated by the need to utilise information and communications technology (ICT) for social and economic development and to promote public confidence in the use of ICTs,” he said.

He added that the legislation will streamline the fragmented approach regarding secrecy, confidentiality and privacy and also address the need for a uniform and clear mandate regarding the protection of personal data.

As part of the Bill, private- and public-sector entities will need to implement the necessary technical and institutional support to ensure greater protection of personal data within their custody or control.

The Bill will also establish an Information Commissioner charged with the responsibility of overseeing the manner in which personal data in the possession of those entities is handled.

As a signatory to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), Jamaica is required to establish appropriate legal and regulatory regimes, in line with existing high international standards, with a view to ensuring an adequate level of protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data.


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