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Guernsey To Update Data Protection Law

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
20 September, 2016

Guernsey will introduce new data protection legislation in line with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, which is to be effective from May 2018.

The GDPR applies to all companies worldwide that process the personal data of EU citizens. It will enable the European Commission to strengthen and unify data protection for individuals within the EU. The Regulation also addresses the transmission of personal data outside the EU.

The primary objectives of the GDPR are to give citizens back control of their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying rules within the EU.

Guernsey must have legislation that is equivalent to the GDPR if it is to maintain continued access to the EU Single Market.

Mary Lowe, the President of the Committee for Home Affairs, has reassured businesses that "while the new laws will impact how Channel Islands businesses process personal data, at this point ... there is no specific action that companies need to take."

"As long as firms are complying with existing data protection legislation, they will be well-positioned to fulfil their obligations under the new laws."

Guernsey and Jersey are working together to ensure that their respective legislation is replicated as far as possible. They are also committed to retaining the pan-island role of Data Protection Commissioner, to offer "in-sync" regulation.

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