When the Data Protection Bill is a passed into law any individual will have the right to sue any entity for misusing their personal data without permission, the Minister for Information Technology has told the Senate.
Senator Kay McConney was speaking as she wrapped up the debate on adopting the report of a joint select committee of Parliament on the bill.
The Minister of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology explained that organisations can no longer do what they liked with personal data.
“In this Information Age, data has value like it has never had before.
“But what is wonderful as is the message in this bill is that this value belongs to you. We own our data.
“And I think that is one of the single most important messages that I would like people to carry away.
“When people have your data other entities, other organisations the data does not belong to them. It belongs to you.
“And therefore because you own your own data you have ownership rights… and this bill seeks to specify those rights.
“Be it to access that information that the data controller had on you, if another entity has information on you, you have a right to know what it is and to have access to it.”
Senator McConney went on to outline the rights of an individual as stated in the draft data law.
She said: “You have the right to correct false data or you have the right to be forgotten or to have your information erased except in certain circumstances that are outlined here in the bill.
“You have the right to restrict or even prevent other entities from processing your data and you have the right to receive it in a way that is machine readable or that in a way that is readable to you.
“Understand that as you own your data you have rights that go with it.”
Lamenting that some people were subjected to having their data misused the senator warned that offenders would be running afoul of the law.
She said to fellow senators: “It was with sadness that I heard Senator Franklyn and Senator Greenidge speak about circumstances in which persons abused the privilege of data.
“This is why we need a piece of legislation like this. Currently they are acting outside of any law.
“Once this is enacted it then brings them into the law so that that behaviour can then be checked. And that the appropriate monitoring and appropriate remedies can be made in situations where they are in breach.”