The Global Privacy Assembly (GPA) has selected Bermuda as the site to host its 2023 summit. Privacy Commissioner Alexander White will join the conference's Executive Committee to plan and co-ordinate the gathering, which looks to place Bermuda squarely at the centre of the tech world.
This week-long event, to be held in late October 2023, will provide an opportunity for regulators and policy-makers to meet in person and set the agenda for global technology and data issues.
In addition to the GPA's deliberative sessions, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner will organise general admission sessions and side events hosted by the world's technology and tech policy leaders. While the Bermuda keynote speakers have yet to be decided, recent summits have included entrepreneurs and chief executives from the largest tech companies in the world, such as Microsoft and Apple.
The GPA includes privacy and data protection watchdogs from over 130 countries, and previous iterations of the event have attracted 700 - 1500 attendees. In addition to the scheduling of formal events, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner will work with local vendors and partners to organise dining, shopping, cultural, and recreational activities for attendees and their families.
When recommending Bermuda as the site of the 2023 annual meeting, the GPA Secretariat stated, “The Executive Committee was particularly impressed with the quality and clarity of Bermuda’s proposal and is convinced that the authority will offer an Annual Meeting in 2023 that will guarantee overall delegate satisfaction.”
Local leaders share their thoughts about the opportunity for Bermuda to host the Global Privacy Assembly Annual Meeting in 2023:
Her Excellency The Governor of Bermuda Ms Rena Lalgie: “Hosting the Global Privacy Assembly in 2023 is a welcome symbol of Bermuda's commitment to personal data privacy and its place at the heart of data protection modernisation critical to so many aspects of our lives.
“I congratulate Privacy Commissioner Alexander White in securing this important event in Bermuda so soon after Bermuda joining the GPA in 2020, demonstrating commitment and continued progress to the highest international standards in the balance of data protection and, where appropriate, transparency."
The Premier of Bermuda, The Hon E David Burt, JP, MP, has expressed his delight in the news that Bermuda has been chosen as the venue for this prestigious event. He commented that:
“This is a significant opportunity for Bermuda to showcase to the world how committed we are to privacy and data protection and that we are determined to be a world leader in this realm. I would also like to commend our Privacy Commissioner, Mr Alexander White, and his team for their efforts in securing Bermuda as the venue for this event.”
Privacy Commissioner Mr Alexander White: “The GPA’s Annual Meeting will place the eyes of the global tech industry on Bermuda. For these weeks in late October, our island will be a buzzing hub of perhaps a thousand entrepreneurs and decision-makers, so we have a tremendous opportunity to show off our home as a business location of choice. I look forward to bringing local industry into the planning process for side events, and co-ordinating with the BDA Tech Summit as a two-for-one opportunity for attendees to enjoy Bermuda a little longer.
“In addition, we will be able to share the special beauty and wonder of Bermuda with many people who may never have even dreamed of visiting. I am especially excited to work with local partners on creating unforgettable experiences for our visiting colleagues and guests.”
Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) Interim CEO Ms Susan Pateras: “On behalf of the BDA, we are thrilled to learn that Bermuda is the chosen destination for the 2023 Global Privacy Assembly summit. The purpose of the BDA is to promote and protect, in collaboration with Government and the private sector, sustainable and equitable economic growth and prosperity in Bermuda. As such, the BDA launched its annual Bermuda Tech Summit in October 2019, with the 2021 event being held from October 13-15. The Bermuda Tech Summit has previously engaged attendees from across the globe with the primary objectives being to: promote Bermuda as a global tech leader, inform prospective entrants of our history of innovation and current and expanding intellectual capital levels, and highlight new business entrants that have chosen Bermuda to build and grow.
“As the world continues to shift, global technology and data has become a critical part of the conversation, so we see this as a huge win for Bermuda and look forward to welcoming all of the 2023 Global Privacy Assembly delegates to Bermuda and also to BDA’s 2023 Bermuda Tech Summit.”
Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO Mr Charles H. Jeffers II: “We’re delighted to have been selected as the host destination for the Global Privacy Assembly (GPA) 2023. Bermuda looks forward to showcasing our gorgeous island and legendary hospitality to the hundreds of members from around the globe. Our sales team is to be commended for providing the Privacy Commissioner with the support to help land the winning bid. This demonstrates how the work we do today can bear fruit for Bermuda well into the future. We are committed to providing our continued support to help make this event a stand-out success in 2023.”
To reach out to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, please visit our Contact Us page. For questions or further comment regarding this release, please contact our office at PrivCom@privacy.bm with the subject line "GPA 2023."
About the Global Privacy Assembly: The Global Privacy Assembly (GPA) first met in 1979 as the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners. The Assembly has been the premier global forum for data protection and privacy authorities for more than four decades. The Assembly seeks to provide leadership at international level in data protection and privacy by connecting the efforts of more than 130 data protection and privacy authorities from across the globe. For more, see the GPA's website.
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."