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IoM Consults On EU Data Protection Law Changes

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
24 January, 2018

The Isle of Man Government has issued a consultation document providing further detail on the alignment of the island's data protection law with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force on May 25, 2018.

GDPR strengthens and unifies data protection for all individuals within the EU, including in the areas of data portability, the "right to be forgotten," and children's data. GDPR also introduces new standards for notification of data breaches and tighter response deadlines by data holders where individuals request details of the personal information held by an entity.

Although the Isle of Man is not in the EU, and has "third country" status, the move to implement GDPR is necessary for island businesses wishing to trade with Europe and process EU citizens' data. It has significant ramifications for financial services firms.

The Isle of Man Government says it will implement GDPR by passing a short data protection bill, which will allow EU data protection instruments to be applied as part of Manx law (with any necessary modifications) by way of an order approved by the island's parliament and then implemented by regulation.

The Isle of Man Government says the proposed data protection law will require organizations to simplify the withdrawal of consent for the use of personal data, enable individuals to request companies to erase or rectify stored personal data, and enable parents and guardians to give consent for their child's data to be used. The proposed law will also enable processing of sensitive personal data but will require "explicit" consent to enable this processing.

The consultation document sets out how the government intends to implement GDPR within the necessary time frame – by May 6, 2018, for the purposes of the EU's Law Enforcement Directive, and by May 24, 2018, for GDPR – and is directed in particular to private sector businesses, public sector organizations, and charities that process or are likely to process personal data.

Chris Thomas, Policy and Reform Minister, commented: "Updating the island's laws in line with the EU will benefit ourselves as residents, in terms of greater rights and control, and also allow businesses to continue to transfer personal data to and from the EU without any hindrance or additional cost."

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