On 21 May 2010 and again on 4 June 2010 the sub-committee for Justice and Constitutional Development met to discuss further the Protection of Personal Information Bill. While most of the discussion was about minor amendments to the Bill, the following topic which are of particularly interesting.


The committee debated the need to distinguish between “human genetic material” and “genetic data” and exemptions that would apply to processing such information. It was decided that “genetic data” should be dealt with separately to “health data”. It was also decided that the definition of  “human genetic material” should be revised as it could have different meanings depending on whether one was a scientist or an ordinary citizen.

Age of Consent

The Committee also debated whether children should have an entire section of the bill dedicated to their rights under the bill. There was also concern on how much privacy children could have against their parents, as well as these aspects should even be included in the Bill. Lastly there was much debate around the topic of what the minimum age of a child should be where it can consent to have its personal information processed or not. Due to the very broad scope of the Bill, there could be ridiculous situations where parents would need to create accounts on Facebook or Twitter for their teenage children of 17. While no firm decision was reached on either of these points it was decided that the desired intention was to protect children from unscrupulous third parties trying to solicit and process information, and to unduly regulate their private lives.

Seperate Clause for Research

It was proposed that a separate section should be drafted to allow exceptions for the processing of personal information to take place for research purposes. What “research” would include was not fully discussed, but the committee seemed to be referring to scientific research, or genealogical research specifically when talking about the exceptions.

Whether there should be more emphasis on rights

It was argued that the bill should be re-organised so that that peoples rights where all placed in a single section and the implement

Was there sufficient protection on collection of data

Political Parties

Name of the regulator