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Cayman Islands: E-Commerce

Introduction

This page was last updated on 28 June 2019.

Though slow to get off the ground in the Cayman Islands, the internet has had a significant impact on the conduct of offshore business from the territory. In December 2012 there were 19,325 internet users out of a population 56,125. Broadband services are readily available and the telecommunications infrastructure is of a reasonable standard.

In June, 2002, the Cayman Islands Bankers' Association presented a report on e-commerce development to the government's E-Business Advisory Board.

The report featured feedback from banking professionals from various banks located in the jurisdiction, including the Cayman National Bank, the Bank of Butterfield, and Bank Austria. International consulting firm Deloitte and Touche also contributed.

Also that month, the Cayman Islands Information and Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) finally came into existence.

ICTA is responsible for regulating all ICT networks and services, including telephony, broadcasting, radio and e-business, and was established under the Information and Communications Technology Law 2002.

In April 2008, Alvarion Ltd., a leading provider of WiMAX and wireless broadband technologies, announced the signing of a master supply agreement with Digicel Group, the largest mobile operator in the Caribbean, to deploy a WiMAX network throughout the Caribbean region, in a major initiative to be rolled out over the next few years. This followed the successful commercial deployment of its 802.16e system in Grand Cayman in 2007.

As part of the master supply agreement, Alvarion, along with its OPEN WiMAX partners, will provide an end-to-end WiMAX offering based on Alvarion’s Mobile WiMAX system.

“Mobile WiMAX represents a unique opportunity for Digicel to leapfrog current technology to offer a wireless full service portfolio as an attractive alternative to the existing operators’ offering,” observed Mario Assad, CTO of Digicel Group.

Based on the success of the Grand Cayman deployment, Digicel is moving quickly to deploy WiMAX in additional markets to deliver primary voice, data VPN and residential broadband to both corporate and residential customers.

In December 2009, the Cayman Islands government announced that it is developing legislation to regulate how personal information is collected and processed by all businesses and organizations to ensure that data privacy is maintained. The new law will also ensure that individuals are able to access information about themselves that is held by government entities and private sector groups. It will also require that such data is accurate.

A Cabinet-appointed data protection working group has been meeting to consider a framework wherein such legislation might be introduced. The group submitted draft legislation in November, 2011. Deputy Information Commissioner, Jan Liebaers, commented: " (The DPL) is modelled after the EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) and on the UK’s Data Protection Act 1998, it is structured more concisely than its predecessors, with consecutive parts dealing with principles, rights of data subjects, notification responsibilities of data controllers, exemptions, functions of the information commissioner and enforcement.”

David Archbold, Chairman from the Information and Communications Technology Authority (ICTA), reported that the group was reviewing laws from other jurisdictions that it feels may be relevant to the local situation, and is developing policy recommendations.

The public as well as business entities were invited to comment on the draft bill by 2 November 2012. At the time of writing the Bill has not been enacted into law.

 

 

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