The Data Protection Bill of 2023 has been finalized and is set to be presented in the National Assembly after concluding the consultation process. The main objective of this proposed legislation is to safeguard individuals’ privacy and regulate the collection, storage, processing, usage, and sharing of personal data.
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC, recently highlighted the significance of this bill for Guyana’s development. The government, through the Ministry of Health, is also preparing to implement an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system and introduce electronic identification cards (e-IDs) in the country.
During his weekly televised programme, ‘Issues in the News,’ on Tuesday evening, the Attorney General expressed disappointment regarding the limited public input received since the consultation period began on April 15.
“We made it available for public input and recommendations from the very individuals who were advocating for such a bill. I regret to say that we did not receive substantial feedback from the public, and now the bill is ready for Parliament,” he stated.
Nonetheless, the Attorney General described the bill as a significant addition to Guyana’s legislative framework.
“These are transformative changes occurring in Guyana, and all of these legislative modifications are intended to align our legal landscape with the developmental agenda we are pursuing,” emphasized the AG.
The implementation of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system will enable healthcare professionals to quickly access patients’ records, thereby enhancing patient care and safety within the public health system.
Furthermore, the electronic identification card system will facilitate data capture, validation, storage, transfer, credential management, identity authentication, and verification.
This initiative will position Guyana among the countries with the most advanced electronic identification systems available.
The e-ID card will streamline the management of immigrants entering Guyana and enhance other critical immigration services. Cardholders will undergo fingerprint verification, eliminating the current requirement for proof of address during transactions, particularly at financial institutions.
Upon the enactment of the Data Protection Bill, citizens’ data will receive comprehensive protection, ensuring their privacy and security.