Chair appointed for new Data Protection Authority

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Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Paul Routier MBE, has today announced his intention to appoint Mr. Jacob Kohnstamm as Chair of Jersey’s new Data Protection Authority.

Mr. Kohnstamm will advise the Authority as it prepares to regulate the Island’s updated data protection framework. He will also play an integral role in helping the Authority to develop new governance structures and in ensuring that Jersey continues to provide the highest level of protection for personal data.

Mr. Kohnstamm will act initially as Shadow Chair, and subsequently as Chair when Jersey’s new data protection laws come into effect on 25 May 2018. This is the same day that the General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect. Jersey’s new data protection laws will see the Office of the Information Commissioner replaced by the Data Protection Authority.

Mr. Kohnstamm has extensive experience in the area of data protection. He chaired the Dutch Data Protection Authority from 2004 to 2016; from 2010-2014 he chaired the Article 29 Working Party, an advisory body comprising the data protection regulators of all EU Member States; and he chaired the International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners Conference from 2011 to 2014.

Senator Routier said: “We are delighted to have secured Mr. Kohnstamm to chair Jersey’s Authority. Mr. Kohnstamm has vast international experience at the highest levels of data protection regulation. His appointment reflects Jersey’s standing in this important field.”

Mr. Kohnstamm commented: “It is a great honour for me to serve both Jersey and the area of data protection in this new role. It is crucial that jurisdictions meet the required standards of data protection, as this provides the trust that individuals, civil society, government and private companies need to innovate and make full use of modern technology.”

The appointment of Mr. Kohnstamm is the latest step for Jersey’s data protection system, a key feature of which is the Island’s ‘adequacy’ with European Union standards. This status enables data to flow freely between Jersey and the European Union. At a recent meeting with the European Commission, officials re-confirmed that Jersey’s adequacy status would remain in force until 2020.