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Papua New Guinea completes national data protection and governance policy

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Papua New Guinea completes national data protection and governance policy

The Ministry of Information and Communications Technology has announced the completion of the national data protection and governance policy, marking a milestone in Papua New Guinea’s digital transformation journey. The new policy, designed to manage and protect data, will soon provide the nation with guidelines and regulations to address the growing challenges of data breaches, privacy violations, and data misuse.

Timothy Masiu, the minister for information and communication technology, highlights the importance of this policy amidst the growth of digital technologies and data collection globally and within Papua New Guinea.

“Without proper data policy and regulations, data breaches, privacy violations, and misuse of data pose significant risks to individuals, businesses, and national security,” Masiu states. He also emphasizes that the lack of clear guidelines undermines public trust and hinders the benefits of data-driven innovation and economic growth.

The policy, which is pending endorsement from a ministerial committee before being submitted to the cabinet for approval, aims to establish a framework for data governance and protection.

It aims to define clear principles and standards for responsible data handling by government agencies, businesses, and other stakeholders, and implement mechanisms to safeguard privacy, confidentiality, and data integrity.

Masiu underscores the significance of the Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) forum, which took place in Tokyo, Japan, from May 15-17, 2024. Representing PNG were the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s head, Steven Matainaho, principal legal officer Oala Moi, and data policy officer Nancy Kanasa. The forum provided a platform for PNG to evaluate its domestic interoperability mechanisms established under the Digital Government Act 2022.

Masiu announced plans to recommend PNG’s membership in the CBPR Forum to the National Executive Council. The Global CBPR Forum, established in April 2022 by several APEC economies, supports the free flow of data and effective data protection and privacy globally.

Additionally, PNG officials engaged in negotiations with Japanese counterparts on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in information and communication technologies (ICT). The MoU aims to foster collaboration and mutual advancement in ICT, benefiting both nations through shared expertise and innovation.

“We are confident that these efforts will enhance our country’s role in the global digital landscape, promoting secure and efficient cross-border data flows and technological collaboration,” Masiu concludes.

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