A year after Guernsey’s new data protection law came into force our breakfast speaker on Friday 17 May will be Emma Martins, the Bailiwick’s Data Protection Commissioner and chief executive of the Office of the Data Protection Authority (ODPA). The authority regulates The Data Protection (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2017 – the legislation that governs how personal data is looked after by local organisations.
Mrs Martins will look at how the Bailiwick has responded to the strengthening of data protection laws locally and in the EU. She will update IOD members on how the regulatory landscape has changed since the introduction of the GDPR in the EU and Guernsey’s own equivalent local legislation. She will outline what the end of the Guernsey law’s transition period on 25 May 2019 will mean for local organisations and individuals.
The ODPA’s focus is on “prevention rather than cure” and Mrs Martins will expand on this strategy - to achieve enlightened compliance through genuine engagement and communication with the regulated community rather than the threat of fines and sanctions. She will invite IOD members to lead cultural change so that their organisations accept accountability for the safety of the personal data they hold and ensure they keep in mind the people who can be harmed when organisations fail in their ethical and legal duties to protect citizens’ rights.
Mrs Martins has been Data Protection Commissioner for the Bailiwick of Guernsey since 2012. At that time she was also Information Commissioner for Jersey when the islands created a pan-Island regulatory office. Emma joined the Data Protection Office in Jersey in 2002 in the post of Deputy Registrar and was successful in her application for the position of Registrar in 2006. After the decision was made to separate the offices again in 2017, she remained in her post for Guernsey and left the Jersey role in early 2018. Mrs Martins started her career in the civil service, having gained a degree in Social Science and Politics. Her role as Support Manager for the States of Jersey Police introduced her to data protection many years ago and she has committed herself to the field ever since. The role of Data Protection Commissioner is a statutory one. Mrs Martins is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Data Protection Authority and acts as the chief executive of that Authority with responsibility for day-to-day operations.
This event will be followed by the AGM of the IoD Guernsey Branch at 9.15 am.