January 28 is the International Data Protection Day. This year the focus was on social media. Because virtually everyone uses social media, the BES Personal Data Protection Supervisory Commission (Commissie toezicht bescherming persoonsgegevens BES, hereinafter the Commission) this time focused on the do’s and don’ts regarding personal data on social media.
International Data Protection Day
As a large amount of personal information is not as well protected as people think it is, it is often easy to find this information and just as easy to misuse it. Attention is therefore paid worldwide to the awareness of the rights and obligations related to data protection on International Data Protection Day.
Need for information
Over the past few years the Commission provided a considerable amount of information in the public and private sector in St. Eustatius, Saba and Bonaire. This included attention to the implementation of the GDPR in Europe, the protection of personal data in relation to employers and employees, data protection in the services sector and attention to the camera surveillance theme, for example. Glenn Thodé, chairman of the Commission: “We notice that the need for information on data protection has only increased. This is good news for the Commission, it is important that people become aware of the vulnerability of personal data. This year we pay special attention to the collection of personal data of minors through social media.”
Embed data-protection rules in organisations
After years of raising awareness for the rules which data-protection laws entail, the time has come to embed those rules in the existing processes within organisations. “It should become commonplace to ask oneself with each activity that involves personal data whether it complies with the protection rules applying thereto,’ Roëlla Pourier, the Commission’s secretary says. ‘Therefore it would be a good thing if these data-protection rules are incorporated in each manual of procedures.’
Information in 2019
Apart from the attention paid to data protection on social media on International Data Protection Day, the Commission will continue to provide information in all kinds of data-protection areas in 2019, ranging from the fundamental principles of data protection to the consequences of the GDPR for companies with business contacts in Europe. Roëlla Pourier additionally describes an ever bigger step: “It would be a good thing if the supervisory authorities in the data-protection area in the Caribbean region started to collaborate, that would be a ‘win-win’ for everybody!”
The Commission is an independent body which supervises the processing (including storage and use) of personal data. More information can be found on the website www.cbpbes.com. For questions about how personal data should be handled, please contact Roëlla Pourier of the secretariat: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone +599 7158392.