A Minister has declared it’s Government’s job to protect at all costs the privacy of the people who live here.
Minister of Labour Colin Jordan made the declaration this afternoon as he gave support to the Data Protection Bill now before the Lower Chamber after being reviewed by a joint committee of House and Senate members.
He said: “I think that the whole issue of privacy is one that we have to do more than pay lip service to.
“As individuals, we have a right to be able to determine what information goes to the public, what information is available in whatever area it is available and what information I would want to keep private to myself, to my household, to my immediate family.
“There is a responsibility that a state in my view, has to a person, an individual, a resident, a citizen, an immigrant, that there is an obligation to respect the privacy of individuals, because at the end of the day individuals are persons with feelings and there are things about us that we seek to either guard or safeguard, and often we do that to protect ourselves from not just intrusion, but what could end up being abuse.”
As the world continues to be technologically driven, data had become as important as money, the St Peter MP said, adding that this was why it was especially important for personal data to be kept private.
He said: “In an age like ours, a technological age, data information generally is what I would consider to be the currency of this age. It is what dollars and cents and paper money would be for an economy. In a technological age, data is the currency.
“Data causes, drives and facilitates production because what people, organizations, companies and businesses produce are based on data.”
He said while there are certain areas which would have access to that data such as national security, public health and public safety, he said journalists would also be privy to certain information.
The Labour Minister also gave his support for the media’s role in educating citizens and disseminating information which ordinary people would not normally have access to.
“It is recognized that journalists have an important role to play in a country’s development.
“Journalists must be allowed within certain bounds, must be allowed to share enough information that will allow citizens to make good judgements as they go about their business and as they live in a society.
“Oftentimes, most of the information that the ordinary person will receive, they will get from the media.
“They will not necessarily get it from this honourable chamber, they will not get it from businesses or their workplaces and they will not even get certain information in a place of worship.
“Oftentimes an ordinary person will get their information through the media and so the media has to be allowed to share that information, albeit, in a responsible manner.”