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COLLABoration at Data Privacy Week 2023

Updated: Mar 1, 2023




The end of January 2023 saw the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Bermuda organized the annual Data Privacy Week (DWP). This year’s festivities included a whole host of events: a Data Privacy Hour for Children and a Privacy Hour for Teens; a Community Privacy Mastermind, organized in partnership with Walkers and the TLC Group of Companies; Seniors Privacy Tea Party; Artificial Intelligence [AI] in Bermuda: Are We Ready?, organized in partnership with MKAI; and a Meeting of the Minds.


This blog post looks back on some of PrivCom’s educational and awareness raising activities around data privacy, data protection, and security online and offline during this year’s DPW and considers the importance of engagement and collaboration with different segments of Bermuda’s diverse community.


‘What does COLLAB stand for?’, you may ask. At PrivCom, we are keen about Calling on Opportunities to Learn from the community so that we can Lead on fair, transparent and concise privacy-related guidance for All individuals in Bermuda. And that’s exactly the kind of environment of listening to and learning from one another that we helped to foster throughout DPW 2023!


In line with PrivCom’s values and ethos of building a culture of trust, the Policy & Engagement (P&E) Team saw firsthand the benefits of direct collaboration and engagement with the community, ranging from school children, senior citizens and privacy officers to businesses and charities. Several participants in the DPW 2023 events provided PrivCom with the following testimonials:


“Our students are not too young to learn about privacy, protection and security. They are of the digital age where there is ease of access to data through the internet.​ Learning to Stop-Think-Connect is a message that is appropriate to review throughout the year.” Sherri-Lee Bucci, Assistant Director, Early Childhood Education, Privacy Hour for Students


“Good to know that there will be an enactment of a personal information protection act in the near future. How dangerous it can be when giving out certain information to others.” Participant of PrivCom's Senior’s Privacy Tea Party


“You all were able to make the initial steps in better understanding Privacy Requirements very accessible. I thought it was an excellent presentation that really allowed us, in the Non-Profit Sector, to share our concerns and potential struggles. Great work - much appreciated.” Tina Nash, Windreach, Meeting of the Minds Event


“An interesting introduction.” Participant of PrivCom’s Artificial Intelligence [AI] in Bermuda: Are We Ready?


“It was great to get among other privacy-minded individuals and have open discussions on the topic, I think a lot of good can come out of the continued meetings and discussion amongst the community.” Participant of PrivCom’s Community Privacy Mastermind


WE HEAR YOU!


What did PrivCom learn from members of the local community during DPW 2023? Below, we unpack for you the 5 key themes emanating from the feedback we received from participants.


1. Privacy is a topic that resonates across the community.

As the above quotes from DPW 2023 participants indicate, data privacy is a theme that many people in Bermuda are directly impacted by irrespective of how old they are. They think about privacy not only as individuals whose personal information needs to be always protected, but also as teachers, business leaders or charity staff members interacting with individuals and handling their personal, at times, sensitive data.


2. PIPA is a much-needed piece of legislation.

Community members think more about the importance of protecting their personal information in anticipation of the full enactment of PIPA. Certain segments of the local community, such as senior citizens, children and teenagers, or members of various minorities, may be more vulnerable to violations of their privacy than others, especially in cyber space. We all need the protective shell of data privacy. And Bermuda's PIPA 2016 does exactly that!


3. Small entities may be anxious at the prospect of full PIPA compliance.

Unlike small businesses and charities, medium-size and large companies and international businesses operating in Bermuda may already be compliant with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), UK GDPR or other jurisdictions’ data protection regulations and have provisions and policies in place. Though being GDPR-compliant is not the same as being PIPA-compliant, their readiness for implementing PIPA’s data privacy requirements may be therefore greater once the law is fully enacted. Understandably, this may cause a level of anxiety and nervousness in anticipation of PIPA’s full enactment on the side of small businesses and charities that often have fewer resources, especially as the date remains unspecified.


4. AI piques people’s interest and curiosity

Increasingly, AI permeates and is present in literally every aspect of our professional as well as personal lives, ranging from automated means in the workplace (predictive text in text editors, automated proofreading or translation), automated advert placement while we use the internet to being offered specific films or other programmes to watch on streaming services. When people are made aware of this, they usually want to learn more. We have started the conversation and all it takes now is to keep it going.


5. All-in Privacy Accountability

The above testimonials – and many more of the testimonials that we received from participants – show a keen interest in working collaboratively, towards a common goal – a culture of privacy and trust in Bermuda – and a continuous, consistent, community-based approach to understanding data privacy and implementing it in their respective entities’ day-to-day operations.


Listen. Learn. Lead.


Importantly, many of the concerns that DPW 2023 participants shared with us are addressed by the various types of guidance that PrivCom has produced, which you can find on our website. Whether you like reading, prefer visuals and infographics, or are a hands-on doer, whether you’re a business or a charity, we have something for everyone.


If you want to learn more about data privacy, PIPA, and how it impacts individuals, as well as businesses and other entities in Bermuda, you can review our Downloadable Guidance, SME Hub or book your place on one of our free training courses coming up in 2023.

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