Bermuda hosts regional privacy and data protection regulators annual meeting
From June 24th-25th, the network of British, Irish, and Islands Data Protection Authorities (BIIDPA) held their 2021 annual meeting, consisting of two part-days of high-level, virtual discussions hosted by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Bermuda (PrivCom).
The group of supervisory authorities identified common trends and priorities in their respective countries, such as oversight of financial services organisations, the protection of children’s personal information, complaints surrounding closed circuit television and facial recognition, and the importance of international co-operation.
Sessions focused on best practices in multi-jurisdiction enforcement actions (moderated by the United Kingdom (UK) Information Commissioner’s Office), co-operation with counterparts in financial regulation, and emerging technology and developments (such as digital identity and cryptocurrencies).
Attendees marked the recent and upcoming departures of Commissioners Saviour Cachia (Malta), Paul Canessa (Gibraltar), Elizabeth Denham (UK), and Jay Fedorak (Jersey), and offered a welcome to newly appointed Commissioners Ian Deguara (Malta) and Paul Vane (Jersey).
BIIDPA is an informal regional network of privacy commissioners that meets annually, with open collaboration throughout the year. Its membership includes the data protection authorities of Bermuda, Cayman, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Malta, and the UK.
PrivCom Bermuda has been a participating member since January 2020.
To reach out to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, please visit our Contact Us page.
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 also works 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 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 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 our International Engagement: The Office of the Privacy Commissioner engages with its international counterparts to enhance Bermuda's reputation as a regulatory leader and to ensure that its guidance and actions are consistent with standards and best practices around the world. Individuals benefit from this engagement because their privacy rights are interpreted according to the high standards of global consensus. Organisations benefit because our guidance reflects consensus best practices and our regulatory actions become interoperable standards that suit multiple jurisdictions, promoting consistency and reducing compliance costs. For more information, see our International Engagement page.