Channel Island delegation updates European Commission on its commitment to new data protection regime

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THE European Commission has pledged to further strengthen relations with Jersey and Guernsey on data privacy and protection.

The islands are among the small group of non-EU countries that are the subject of an ‘adequacy decision’ by the Commission, which is an official certification that the islands meet essentially equivalent data protection standards to those applying in the EU.

At a recent meeting in Brussels, a pan-Channel Island delegation updated the Commission on legislative, regulatory and policy developments since our original adequacy decisions were adopted and explained the efforts being made in both Bailiwicks to implement the GDPR and the new directive.

‘Much work has been done in recent months across the Channel Islands to ensure we are strongly positioned to respond to the impending reform of data protection regulation. The visit by representatives of the islands and this office was a significant step for us all,’ said Emma Martins, Jersey’s Information Commissioner.

‘Maintaining the islands’ reputation as a well-regulated jurisdiction, in respect of data protection, is more important than ever. Ensuring the Channel Islands provide a robust framework of protection for personal data is vital not only for established businesses, as when done well it is also fundamental for economic growth and innovation in this digital era.

‘I am delighted that both the States of Jersey and the States of Guernsey have committed to high quality legislative reform for the islands and my team and I are equally committed to delivering a meaningful and effective regulatory regime.’

In May 2018 a new data protection regime will come into force in the EU – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) together with the Law Enforcement Directive, which applies a similar regime to exchanges of personal data between law enforcement authorities. Jersey and Guernsey have committed to implementing into domestic law, by May 2018, essentially equivalent provisions to the GDPR and the new Law Enforcement Directive.

Senator Paul Routier, assistant minister, Chief Ministers Department, Jersey, added: ‘Ensuring that we are ready for the EU’s new data protection regime next year is important for Jersey’s continued access to European markets. I was therefore pleased that officials were able to update the Commission on the good progress that is being made in Jersey and Guernsey to implement this new regime, and I was particularly encouraged to learn that the Commission is committed to ensuring the continuity of the Islands’ adequacy findings in respect of data protection.

‘This project is an excellent example of pan-Island cooperation and I will be supporting efforts to further strengthen our relations in the area of data privacy and data protection.’