Photo: Mike Toy - Little Good Harbour House, Shermans, St. Lucy
I should just be able to say Panama Papers – full stop. There is the story with more than sufficient public evidence to support the case for why the time is more than ripe to implement domestic privacy and data protection legislation in Barbados.
Even without this recent and well publicized scandal, we should already be self-motivated to implement such guidance to maintain, bolster perhaps and ensure Barbados’ healthy domestic and international financial services sectors.
Sound privacy legislation provides confidence, consistency, safety, controls and supervision while advancing the stability of the financial system.
By taking advantage of the opportunity to learn from recent hacking and breach events, we can establish a privacy regime that is au courant.
Furthermore, with the new Common Reporting Standards (CRS) issued by the OECD to facilitate an automatic exchange of tax information, there will now be an unprecedented amount of personal information and financial data storage and sharing between 101 countries or more!!
Do you feel comfortable at this very moment to tell your current or potential clients that their information which will be transmitted to the Barbados Revenue Authority will be maintained with the utmost security standards?
Perhaps we could say this, but without the guard rails of consistently applied legislation can we know this with complete confidence?
Regardless of the driver, good privacy protection is good business. Most websites which we all visit on a daily basis have privacy statements – let’s crystalize the foundation for them in Barbados.
It is one thing to be proactive and implement preventative controls. However, it bears just as much importance that the reactive procedures and controls are well-established and designed to act with speed, importance and notification to affected parties. In many developed jurisdictions, these requirements are spelled out in legislation and guidelines.
While not everyone is a proponent of more rules to follow, when it is the right piece of legislation it lends stability and credibility to the nation. It does not need to be long or particularly onerous, it purely needs to be effective.
If you are setting up a business in Barbados, you want to know that your information is stored in a confidential and secure manner, both for yourself and your clients.
Remember – it just takes one slip!