Guyana rejects improper collection, use of citizens’ personal data

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Guyana rejected the unauthorised collection and improper use of citizens’ personal data when it met with regional leaders at a high-level digitalization summit in Bogota, Colombia.

Leaders and Ministers of Government holding responsibility for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) across the Caribbean and Latin America met from April 18 to 20 for the Sixth Ministerial Conference on the Information Society. Guyana was represented by Public Telecommunications Minister, Catherine Hughes.

According to a statement from the Ministry Wednesday afternoon, the participating Member States agreed to devise appropriate mechanisms to treat with lapses in relation to the unauthorised use of citizens’ data.

This Ministerial confab was organized jointly by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Government of the Republic of Colombia, the Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

Their business was to take stock of progress in nations and renew the agreements that have been set out in the Digital Agenda for Latin America and the Caribbean beyond 2018.

According to Guyana’s Ministry, the overall objective is to accelerate human progress, bridge the digital divide anywhere and to develop ‘knowledge societies’.

The Ministry explained that in Guyana, that digital divide exists between the coastal and hinterland regions, and it has become a front-burner obligation for the Government.

“The divide between Guyana and sister nations in the Caribbean and Latin America was created by this nation’s previous lack of technological capacity.  This latter is currently being addressed aggressively by the Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Public Telecommunications,” the Ministry said.

The Digital Agenda which was ratified at last week’s conference is intended to be a tool to accelerate each nation’s efforts to adopt digitisation as State Policy.

It specifies clear areas for action in different sectors including digital infrastructure to expand broadband systems along with viable alternatives for community access to ICT networks.

Other objectives are the digital integration and collaboration among countries, especially support for micro, small and medium scale enterprises and creation of digital platforms for goods, services and cross-border data flows; the development of standards that facilitates and expedites Governments’ operations and services; and national culture and inclusion; and which utilize emerging technologies to create digital skills.

The regional countries also agreed to prioritise digital financial services.

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