WORK is continuing to prepare the Channel Islands for new data protection legislation which is due to come into force in 2018, says the islands’ independent data protection regulator.
Emma Martins said she and her pan-Island team were working hard to support both governments and businesses in the islands, recognising the potential economic benefits for those who engage with the opportunities created by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Her comments come after it was announced by the States of Jersey and the States of Guernsey that the data protection commissioner will be leaving her post in March 2018. The governments also confirmed that the pan-Island role will end, with each island introducing their own dedicated data protection commissioner post at that time.
‘After the recent decision for the Islands to move away from a pan-island data protection regulator, we will continue to work hard to ensure the Islands are as prepared as possible for the new data protection legislation in May 2018,’ said Mrs Martins, who is the Data Protection Commissioner in Guernsey and the Information Commissioner in Jersey.
‘The decision is regrettable after the two islands have come such a long way together and in light of the significant work done in recent years to create a pan-island presence. To a certain degree, it reflects the fast evolving nature of the data economy.’
Important work to prepare the islands for GDPR will, however, continue to be carried out by Mrs Martins and her team.
‘These events should not and must not distract from the important work that lies ahead and on which industry and citizens are entitled to our complete focus and attention. There are very real economic opportunities for any jurisdiction that embraces those opportunities in an intelligent and enlightened way,’ added Mrs Martins.