Barbadians are being told that they have the right to the protection of their personal information.
This was the word from Minister of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology, Senator Kay McConney, as she outlined the specifics of the Data Protection Bill, 2019, in the Senate, today.
Senator McConney noted persons have the right to have incorrect personal data rectified, erased, to restrict processing, or to request data in a portable format.
“You have the right to know when, to whom, and under what security safeguards your data will be transferred to others. You have the right to complain and you have the right to appeal. And there is a data commissioner that is part of the infrastructure that is set up to administer this act. There will be a tribunal there is also an appeal to the court.
“So if for whatever reason, you believe your rights have been violated, or you choose to challenge compliance in any number of areas, you can appeal to the data commissioner. And if you are not satisfied, there is a higher appeal above the data commissioner, which is the tribunal. And if you are still not pleased with the tribunal you can go to the courts. Everyday there are people whose job will be exclusively to watch over your data to see that your rights and privacy are protected,” she said.
Senator McConney also announced that companies must be registered and have permission to use persons data.
In addition, the Minister said persons also have the right to know the intended recipients of their data which has to be transferred.
“You can say no, I am sorry, I will not provide that information. Now there are exemptions, because of course you know if there is a criminal matter you can’t say but I am not providing my information to you. But in the normal course of things, as long as it doesn’t fit those exemptions you have the right to say no, I do not give consent.
“You also have the right to say no to direct marketing. You also have the right to change your mind. So if you gave consent the first time and you decide I am changing my mind I don’t want to give you consent, you have the right to do that too, and it is provided for in this Bill. You may even say for direct marketing I give permission to use this for 21 days and after the 21 days they have to let go of it,” McConney said.
She said persons must not be ignored if they make a query about their personal information that has been collected. The Minister explained that there was a provision in the Bill that speaks to persons receiving a response at least within one month, to their query in a reasonable time, without due delay.