About the Commission Supervision Personal Data Protection BES

The Commission Supervision Personal Data Protection BES (the Commission) is an independent supervisory authority charged with overseeing personal data processing in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act BES (PDPA BES). Created in April 2014, the Commission is also charged with supervising the processing of police data and the BES Personal Data Records in the Caribbean Netherlands.

Personal data protection and the Commission itself are still in their infancy in the Caribbean Netherlands. This is why the Commission has decided to concentrate its efforts in the first two or three years on education and on raising awareness about personal data protection. Next, the Commission will start the supervision phase, during which audits may be conducted.

The Commission is working to make people and organizations on the islands aware of their responsibility for careful treatment of personal data.

Enactment of the PDPA BE

Before the introduction of the PDPA BES, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba had no general regulations on personal data processing, even though the right to privacy was protected under international treaties. Since October 10, 2010, personal data are protected under Article 10 of the Constitution, and the effects of the Strasbourg Data Convention and the Additional Protocol have been extended to the Caribbean Netherlands.

The PDPA BES is a direct result of this convention and protocol, providing detailed directives on personal data protection. The PDPA BES is based on the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) in force in the European part of the Netherlands. There are a number of differences, however, including the absence of an obligation for the supervisory authority to report the processing of certain data and the absence of previous investigations by the supervisory authority in the event of risky data processing. In addition, the PDPA BES does not provide for the appointment of a data protection official.

According to the parliamentary records, the legislator wanted to introduce these differences to prevent administrative bodies and companies in the Caribbean Netherlands from being overburdened. In 2013, the Ministry of Security and Justice created a project team called “PDPA BES Implementation Project” for the purpose of organizing, positioning, and staffing the Commission. The project team started working on defining both the organizational structure and job description of the Commission, paving the way for the start of the Commission’s operations on April 1, 2014.

Composition of the Commission

As a sequel to the project team named “PDPA BES Implementation Project,” a chairman and two other members were appointed by royal decree as of April 1, 2014. On that same date, the Regulations on the Legal Position of Members of the Commission Supervision Personal Data Protection BES entered into force. Among other things, these regulations provide that all positions and other positions held by the members should be made public. An updated list of the main positions and other positions held by the members can be consulted both at the Ministry of Security and Justice and at the offices of the Commission. The list has also been published on this website.

Main/side jobs of the Data Protection Authority BES (applicable as of July 2019)

Data Protection Authority BES
Name DPA BES Main position Other positions held
J.J. van Eck
Member State Council, Administrative Justice Section, Council of State Coach, Intercoach
E.M.H. Pourier-Thodé
Member and deputy chairperson None None
G.A.E. Thodé
Chairman Rector of the University of Aruba • Editorial staff at Caribisch Juristenblad

• Editorial staff at SNAAR-Reeks bij Boom Juridische Uitgevers

• Chairman of the Electoral Council of Aruba