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  • Guernsey establishes a FinTech and Digital Oversight Group in time for landmark EU Data Protection judgment

    Tuesday 13 October 2015

    In conjunction with leading business experts, the States of Guernsey has held its first meeting of the FinTech and Digital oversight group (FDOG). The Group was established following recommendations from PwC's strategic report, Commissioned by the Commerce and Employment Department (C&E). A key recommendation of the strategic report was to establish a business development group to target and manage potential opportunities.

    The Group discussed the opportunities identified in the strategic report that make Guernsey a prime location for the developing FinTech and Digital sectors. This included Guernsey's position as a secure and trusted location for data storage, with strong privacy safeguards, which allow it to lawfully process data from multiple jurisdictions including the US and EU.

    The timing of the meeting allowed the group to discuss the landmark judgment of the European Court of Justice, ending the US Safe Harbour scheme, a decision that was unthinkable only twelve months ago. The Safe Harbour Decision, adopted by the European Commission in 2000, had been one of the main legal mechanisms for the transfer of personal data from Europe to the United States for the past 15 years. Now that the Decision has been declared invalid, it cannot be used to render these transfers of personal data lawful.

    The European Court's decision is based on the Edward Snowden leaks. Facebook Ireland had been transferring the personal data of its users in Europe to Facebook USA. The leaks revealed that Facebook USA's data is capable of being accessed by US security agencies in the course of mass and indiscriminate surveillance. Further, the European Court identified that the US has no independent authority capable of verifying that such access to personal data is strictly necessary under the Safe Harbour Scheme.

    In contrast, the Bailiwick's legislation ensures that sufficient checks and balances are placed, not only on the processing of data, but also on official requests for disclosure of information.  For example, requests for disclosure may be made through the Royal Court or by off-island authorities through HM Procureur (Guernsey's Attorney General). This process differs significantly from many other jurisdictions, which may be through a ministerial process. Guernsey places itself as a truly secure, robust and trusted jurisdiction for personal data storage, with significant protection and a strong level of data privacy for individuals and compliance standards for business.

    Stephen Ozanne, Senior Associate at AO Hall and member of FDOG said:

    "The European Court's decision is a particular concern for businesses that collect large amounts of personal data in relation to European citizens, such as employee and customer data, and store that data digitally in the US. Guernsey offers a solution as an ideal location to store personal data, with its state of the art off-island internet connectivity, existing high capacity data hosting services and a data protection regime that meets international standards."

    Nick Vermeulen, Partner at PwC and member of FDOG stated:

    "Guernsey has progressive legislation in both Data Protection and Intellectual Property rights.The ability to aggregate data from a multitude of jurisdictions on the Island will mean that we are able to assist companies as they consider what the end of the Safe Harbour regime means for them. "

    Colin Vaudin, States of Guernsey Chief Information Officer said:

    "The FinTech and Digital Oversight Group provides a joint business and Government forum to further identify, develop and promote Guernsey as a leading jurisdiction for FinTech and Digital businesses.  We have seen significant growth in these sectors, which reinforces Guernsey's position as a well-regulated jurisdiction with robust data protection legislation that meet, and in some cases exceed, the EU Data Adequacy requirement.  In light of the recent EU ruling Guernsey is well situated to support businesses that are looking at the implications of the ruling on their businesses".


  • Update presentation on Guernsey's Economic Development Framework

    Monday 12 October 2015

    The Commerce & Employment Department will present a progress update against the key objectives set within Guernsey's Economic Development Framework on 23 November at St James Concert and Assembly Hall.

    The presentation will cover a range of topics including updates on economic sector developments, Locate Guernsey, aviation strategy, the red tape audit and digital work streams, including the Digital Greenhouse. Commerce & Employment will be reflecting on the targets set by the Framework and focusing on the next steps.

    There will be refreshments available from 7:30 in the morning with the formal presentation starting at 8:15. Following this there will be an opportunity for the audience to engage and ask questions of Commerce & Employment board members and staff on areas of work or topical issues.

    Deputy Kevin Stewart, Minister, Commerce & Employment says:

    "The department will be providing a clear update about the progress we have made on the objectives outlined within our Economic Development Framework. The topics covered will be relevant to all economic sectors and include updates on key projects such as Locate Guernsey, aviation strategy, red tape audit and digital work streams, including the Digital Greenhouse."

    The presentation is open to everyone and registration is available at

  • Cruise liners - end of season parking changes

    Thursday 08 October 2015

    Following confirmation that the final cruise liner visit of the season scheduled for Friday is a 'conference ship' where few passengers are expected to come ashore, the Environment Department is advising motorists about imminent changes to parking arrangements.

    These involve from tomorrow morning, the two hour parking on the seaward side of South Esplanade reverting to ten hour parking until the recommencement of the cruise liner season in the Spring 2016.  In addition, ten hour parking near the slipway along Castle Emplacement will revert to being reserved for 'Fishermen at Sea'.

    By Monday 12 October, Guernsey Harbours will have removed the planters from outside of the Marina facilities at the Albert Pier and also  the visitor welcome tent and retractable barriers from by Pier 17 restaurant.  Once this has taken place the Department will reinstate the ten hour small car parking spaces and two hour bays except for a few that were removed from by the new zebra crossing for visibility reasons.  At the same time, the small parking spaces temporarily  relocated to by the Marina Office on the Albert Pier and at the northern end of the Round Top arm of the Crown Pier will revert to Harbour users.  

    Contact Information:

    Phil Ogier, Senior Traffic Services Officer
    Environment Department
    Tel: 243400