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New laws to control personal data use

KINGSTON — The government is to introduce a Data Protection Act this year which will regulate the use of personal information compiled on Jamaicans.

Making the announcement in the sectoral debate in the House of Representatives recently, minister of state in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Julian Robinson, said the act would seek to protect the privacy of individuals in relation to personal data and the regulation of the collection, processing, storing, use and disclosure of certain information relating to individuals.

“There is a need for a more uniformed, robust and clear mandate to protect privacy and personal information,” Robinson said, adding that the Government will be establishing a single Information and Communication Technology Regulator by 2013/14.

This will involve the fusion of the telecommunications regulatory functions of the Office of Utilities Regulation, the radio spectrum technical functions of the Broadcasting Commission and the spectrum management functions of the Spectrum Management Authority.

The junior minister also announced that the government would be boosting training and office space as it looks to tap into the Business Processes Outsourcing industry to create 15,000 additional jobs in the ICT sector over the next four years.

BPO refers to back office outsourcing which includes internal business functions such as human resources, finance, accounting and front office outsourcing, as well as customer-related services such as contact centre services. (Observer)

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