Electoral Commission Examines Data Protection Act

KINGSTON, Jamaica – As one of Jamaica’s principal collectors and custodians of personal data, the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) has sought clarity on the provisions of the proposed Data Protection Act. Consequently, the Commission on Wednesday, March 28 met with Wahkeen Murray, Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology (MSET) to discuss the extent to which the Act has implications for the management of data collected and maintained by the Electoral Office of Jamaica.

The Representation of the People Act (ROPA), the law which governs the electoral process, is very specific about how the information belonging to registered electors is collected, maintained and published. The representatives discussed the relationship between the two pieces of legislation and the legal framework within which the ECJ would operate upon the passage of the Data Protection Act. Following the meeting, the Commission vowed to further examine the provisions of the Act as it relates to the electoral system and re-affirmed its commitment to responsible collection of data and protecting the privacy of individuals in the electoral database.

Currently, the Electoral Commission of Jamaica is responsible for a database of over 1.9 million registered electors.