The Bahamas Government has launched its premier website for the **Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.**
Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing underscored the importance of the website, *”In this modern world, governments near and far are challenged to provide avenues to ensure that the privacy rights of its citizens are protected. We in government are also mandated to seek ways to improve efficiency and keep our people safe in a post ‘9/11’ environment.”* He noted that the promotion of privacy rights and safety concerns is paramount, as they are the two main ingredients of focus among data protection and privacy authorities around the world.
With the enactment of the **Data Processing (Privacy of Personal Information) Act, 2003**, the Government put in place “a crucial element” with regard to the privacy of personal information. The Act‘s main purpose is to “protect the privacy of individuals in relation to personal data and to regulate the collection, processing, keeping, use and disclosure of certain information relating to individuals and to provide for matters incidental to or connected with.”
The Data Protection Act was one of three parts of the Government’s E-Commerce package passed in 2003. At that time, the Computer Misuse Act, and the Electronic Communications and Transaction Act were also passed.
Minister Laing said the new website has been developed to provide the Bahamian public with access to information about the supervision and regulation of the Data Protection Act. Additionally, it will provide the Commissioner with an effective medium to keep the public informed as it relates to government policy and the development of international standards for the use and disclosure of personal information.