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Jamaica: Senate passes data protection bill

The Jamaica Information Service announced, on 13 June 2020, that the Jamaica Senate ('the Senate') had passed, on 12 June 2020, a bill for the Data Protection Act, 2020 ('the Bill') following the Bill's passage by the Jamaica House of Representatives. In particular, the Bill creates provisions on how personal data should be collected, processed, stored, used, and disclosed in physical or electronic form and also establishes principles and rules on data accuracy, data retention and data transfers, among other things. In addition, the Bill provides for a two-year transition period before it enters into effect in order to allow data controllers time to take the steps necessary to ensure full compliance and to also facilitate other administrative processes. 

Senator Kamina Johnson Smith highlighted, "It is anticipated that this transition period will be treated as an appropriate period for public education. So we will pass the Bill and educate people as we go through [in order to] promote the positives of this Bill and indeed the positives of the National Identification System as well, when it shall have come into effect. When you look at the impact and the positive benefit that can come from the services and the protection that will be given by this Bill, then we will get further and faster and we will have greater engagement and buy-in because we will focus on the positives." 

The Bill needs to be signed into law by the Governor-General and published in the Jamaica Gazette before it enters into effect.  

You can read the press release here and the Bill here