Islanders at the heart
What is Data Protection? Some know a great deal about it due to their workplace environment and training, others aren’t perhaps so familiar. But we must all remember that at the heart of data protection, the protection of personal information, is people.
The Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 (that’s our local version of the General Data Protection Regulation) is in place to protect all of our personal information and all organisations, businesses, charities, clubs and associations in Jersey that use Islanders’ personal information have obligations under the local data protection law, to look after it.
One of our three Strategic Outcomes (priorities) here at the Jersey Office of the Information Commissioner is to ‘protect our future generations by putting children and young people first’. Given the rapid advances of technology, it is now more important than ever that we take steps to provide young Islanders with the tools to protect themselves against the harms associated with a digital environment, including social media and online gaming and educate them about how online behaviours can affect their opportunities in later life.
Since the beginning of the year, our team has been fortunate enough to deliver education sessions to more than 500 local students about how they can look after their personal information and empowering them with the confidence to hold organisations to account. However, focusing on young people is not at the exclusion of our adult population within our Island community. When it comes to data protection, we need to respect all members of our community albeit recognising some sectors may be at higher risk and need greater protection. Our role as regulator is to ensure we target our support accordingly and apply the law in a fair and consistent manner, protecting those who need it most.
By reminding students to check their privacy settings (and suggesting they ask their friends and families to do the same) we hope to raise as much awareness among Islanders as possible to help us achieve our vision whereby ‘privacy becomes instinctive’ for us all. So, just as we put on our seatbelts when we get in our cars or lock our doors when we leave our houses in the morning, we think of our own privacy – and that of our co-workers, customers, friends and families, those all around us, instinctively.
In addition to our work with young people, we offer ‘Board Support’ sessions to help Boards and Non-Executive Directors navigate the data protection landscape and a key part of our team’s role here at JOIC is to engage with Jersey organisations, clubs, charities, associations and schools to achieve exactly the same – to offer a little help for those that feel they could benefit when it comes to safely and lawfully processing people’s personal information.
Our wider Compliance and Enforcement team is also on the end of the phone or available to meet in person at our offices at 5 Castle Street (close to Sand Street car park) to provide data protection guidance and support.
Finally, it’s important to remember that good data protection is intrinsically linked to wellbeing, mental health, reducing inequalities and improving living standards. Our advice is to keep the basic principles of data protection, which include the fair, secure and transparent handling of personal information, in mind at all times. Always remember, Islanders are at the heart.
If you’d like to arrange a JOIC Board Support session or a visit from our Communications and Outreach Team, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Jersey Office of the Information Commissioner on 716530.