November 27, 2017
The Cayman Islands has modern, internationally accepted legislation providing for computer misuse offences and data protection. Such legislation is modelled on UK and/or EU legislation to protect against such illegal acts, and to ensure that appropriate criminal, civil and regulatory remedies are available to counter them.
For many years the Cayman Islands has had robust legislative measures to enable the police to investigate, and the authorities to prosecute, computer hackers and others who seek unauthorised access to other people's computer systems.
The Computer Misuse Law (2015 Revision) (the "CML") is modelled on the UK's Computer Misuse Act and creates a number of computer-hacking and related offences. The provisions of the CML are extra-territorial, such that a person who commits an offence from outside of the Cayman Islands in respect of computer systems in the Cayman Islands may be prosecuted here.
The Data Protection Law, 2017 (the "DPL") has been enacted and will come into force in January 2019, after EU's General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") comes into EU law. The DPL has drawn from various EU jurisdictions' legislation, as well as the GDPR, to conform to the data protection standards set by the EU.
It will be an offence under the DPL to obtain or disclose personal data without the consent of the party controlling the data, and it will be separate offence to offer to sell data obtained illegally.
An offence under the CML or the DPL could also form a predicate offence under the Proceeds of Crime Law (2017 Revision) ("POCL") where proceeds (e.g. fees for selling stolen information) derived from the criminal conduct. Third party acquirers of the information could also be subject to inchoate offences under POCL; e.g. aiding, abetting or conspiring with another to commit the offence.
Additionally, victims who have been subject to unauthorised access to their computer systems and misuse of information obtained are also able to bring civil actions in the Cayman Islands, including for breach of confidence. Victims may also obtain injunctions to restrain further unauthorised disclosures and seek appropriate damages.
The Cayman Islands Law Society ("Law Society") is the professional association that represents the entire private sector legal profession of the Cayman Islands. Membership is open to persons who are admitted as Cayman Islands attorneys-at-law. The Law Society currently has over 400 members.