On 13 April the Data Protection Commissioner for Guernsey and Jersey, Emma Martins, commented on proposals published in January by the European Commission for updating EU data protection standards. Guernsey and Jersey are two of a small group of third country jurisdictions that have been formally assessed by the European Commission as meeting current EU data protection standards (the official term used is “adequate”). This has been very important for Channel Islands’ interests in several practical ways – for example for the operation of the Islands as international financial centres, for the conduct of e-commerce, for police and judicial cooperation, and for passenger travel. It also means that Guernsey and Jersey citizens have the reassurance that domestic data protection legislation is benchmarked against EU standards which are viewed internationally as a ‘gold standard’ in the protection of personal data.
The internal EU negotiations in respect of the proposed changes are expected to be lengthy, with final agreement unlikely before mid-2013. Nevertheless it is important for the Channel Islands to follow developments closely. Working in close liaison with the Data
Protection Commissioner, CIBO has already been in contact with the Commission to explain the importance we attach to continuing to be assessed as adequate (ie meeting EU standards) when the new legislation enters into force. Helpfully, the Commission’s draft proposal explicitly states that decisions on adequacy will remain in force under the new Regulation unless/until amended or repealed by the Commission.
The full text of the Data Protection Commissioner’s press release can be found here: http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=74644&p=0