• PrivCom Bermuda

ABIR Data and Privacy Taskforce (ADAPT) formed to facilitate engagement with industry partners

The Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers (ABIR) announced on 20 August 2020 the creation of a new task force to "facilitate the implementation of the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA)" as a forum for communication and engagement between the Bermuda insurance community and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (PrivCom). The full press release, with a comment from Commissioner White, reads as follows:

The Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR) has today announced the formation of the new ABIR Data and Privacy Taskforce (ADAPT) to help ensure Bermuda meets international requirements regarding the use of personal data.

The taskforce, chaired by Jim Paugh, General Counsel of Chubb Bermuda Insurance Ltd., will work directly with Bermuda’s Privacy Commissioner to facilitate the implementation of the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), which sets out how Bermuda-based organisations should handle personal data to protect the rights of Bermudians and compliantly operate in global markets.

ABIR’s Data Privacy Officer-Designee Suzanne Williams-Charles will staff the taskforce and senior privacy officers from each of ABIR’s member companies will participate on the taskforce.

“On behalf of the re/insurance industry in Bermuda, we look forward to world-class implementation of Bermuda’s privacy laws advancing our international market position,” said Albert Benchimol, President and CEO of Axis Capital and Chair of ABIR. “As Bermuda’s leading employers and economic contributors, we are pleased that ABIR will be supporting the Government and helping to lead the way on this important topic for the benefit of Bermuda and Bermudians.”

Alexander White, Bermuda Privacy Commissioner, commented: “It is in the interests of both Bermudians and the companies that operate here that PIPA is implemented carefully and thoughtfully, so that personal data is properly protected. Bermuda has a long tradition as the world’s risk capital, and companies here continue to lead the way in cyber and privacy risk. We look forward to working with ABIR and leveraging the deep expertise of its members, to help ensure the smooth and successful administration of PIPA.”

Specifically, ADAPT will:

  • Support the mission and goals of the Privacy Commissioner;

  • Provide a two-way communication channel between the Privacy Commissioner and key stakeholder groups;

  • Act as a resource and support for the implementation of PIPA;

  • Facilitate the education of key stakeholders about PIPA;

  • Provide a forum for addressing unique industry issues related to data protection with stakeholder feedback on the likely impact and effectiveness of codes of practice and the administration of PIPA;

  • Provide assistance in creating public awareness about PIPA.

Update: The announcement has been covered by a variety media sources, including Bernews, the Royal Gazette, and the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

To reach out to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, please visit our Contact Us page.

Press Background:

  • Rights and responsibilities relating to data privacy are set out in the Personal Information Protection Act 2016 (PIPA). Bermuda's PIPA received Royal Assent on 27 July 2016. Sections relating to the appointment of the Privacy Commissioner were enacted on 2 December 2016, including the creation of the Office as well as those duties and powers relevant to its operation in the period leading up to the implementation of the whole Act. The Commissioner works to facilitate the advancement of consequential amendments to other Acts in order to harmonise them with PIPA.

  • The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Bermuda (PrivCom) is an independent supervisory authority established in accordance with the Personal Information Protection Act 2016 (PIPA).

  • The mandate of the Privacy Commissioner is to regulate the use of personal information by organisations in a manner which recognizes both the need to protect the rights of individuals in relation to their personal information and the need for organisations to use personal information for legitimate purposes, among other duties.

  • The Privacy Commissioner's powers and responsibilities include monitoring the processing of personal information by both private- and public-sector organisations, investigating compliance with PIPA, issue guidance and recommendations, liaise with other enforcement agencies, and advise on policies and legislation that affect privacy. PrivCom's mission is also to raise awareness and educate the public about privacy risks and to protect people’s rights and freedoms when their personal data is used. The general powers of the Privacy Commissioner are outlined in Article 29 of PIPA.

  • Alexander White (Privacy Commissioner) was appointed by His Excellency the Governor, after consultation with the Premier and Opposition Leader, to take office on 20 January 2020.

  • Privacy is the right of an individual to be left alone and in control of information about oneself. In addition to the protections in PIPA, the right to privacy or private life is enshrined in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 12) and the European Convention of Human Rights (Article 8).

  • "Personal information" or data is a defined term in PIPA that means any information about an an identified or identifiable individual. Examples include names, dates of birth, photographs, video footage, email addresses and telephone numbers. "Sensitive personal information" is a defined term in PIPA that includes information relating to such aspects as place of origin, race, colour, sex, sexual life, health, disabilities, religious beliefs, and biometric and genetic information. (Note: This is not a complete list.)

  • "Use" of personal information is a defined term in PIPA that means "carrying out any operation on personal information, including collecting, obtaining, recording, holding, storing, organising, adapting, altering, retrieving, transferring, consulting, disclosing, disseminating or otherwise making available, combining, blocking, erasing or destroying it."

  • About ABIR: The Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR) represents Bermuda’s major property and casualty insurers and reinsurers doing business in 150 countries. Bermuda is an internationally recognized center of global expertise on underwriting for catastrophe, climate risk and cyber-risk transfer products along with other specialty insurance and reinsurance. For more information, please visit: www.abir.bm. Follow ABIR on Twitter at @ABIR_Bermuda.