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PM talks data protection

Prime Minister Perry Christie opened The Bahamas' third annual Data Protection Symposium this morning, calling for a “coordinated approach to complex issues” and praising his government for its work in developing the country's information protection framework. 

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TheBahamasInvestor.com
Friday, November 13, 2015
Friday, November 13, 2015

Prime Minister Perry Christie opened The Bahamas’ third annual Data Protection Symposium this morning, calling for a “coordinated approach to complex issues” and praising his government for its work in developing the country’s information protection framework.

Addressing the conference at the Melia resort in Nassau, the Prime Minister spoke of the need to balance data protection with the right to information.


“As The Bahamas moves closer to the implementation of its information regime it is of the utmost importance that attention is given to privacy and the right to know,” he said. “When the scale is tilted too far on either side of the equation we find ourselves breaching fundamental rights. The government must move with care.”

The government introduced a draft Freedom of Information bill earlier this year and, according to Christie, the legislation is currently available for public consultation.

“We are pleased we have moved one step closer in implementing our information regime,” said the Prime Minister.

Data Protection Commissioner Sharmie Farrington Austin, who was appointed in 2013, told attendees that her tenure as head of the Office of Data Protection has been a productive one, saying that privacy complaints have grown from just 5 to over 95. She also spoke of the importance of forging strong links with global information commissioners, such as those in the Cayman Islands and the UK, and shared plans to create a national privacy congress for schools with the aim of engaging students at all levels.

The conference also heard from Minister of Education, Science & Technology Jerome Fitzgerald and Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance Michael Halkitis who said the Ministry of Finance was “committed to working hand in hand with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner [and] committed to the modernization of government processes.”

cmorris@dupuch.com

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