As the public is aware, the prestigious Global Privacy Assembly (GPA) is currently taking place in Bermuda at the Hamilton Princess.
The global forum brings together more than 130 protection and privacy commissioners worldwide.
The theme of this year’s Assembly is Ripples, Waves and Currents.
A wide range of topics are being discussed, including the latest developments in technology and the accelerated use of a wide variety of technological tools, artificial intelligence (AI), algorithmic programming, automated decision-making, blockchain, metaverse, big data analysis and cross-border data transfers.
Each year, the GPA brings together accredited members and other international organisations that share common objectives and goals; encourages and facilitates cooperation and the exchange of information among accredited members, in particular regarding enforcement actions; and promotes the development of international standards in the field of personal data protection.
Yesterday the Minister of the Cabinet Office and Tourism, Vance Campbell provided opening remarks at the event.
Minister Campbell said, “I recognize you are here to discuss matters of great importance that transcend borders and impact every individual in our interconnected world.
“I would like to express my gratitude to all the distinguished speakers, experts, and delegates who have traveled to join us today. Your presence and expertise are invaluable.
“Bermuda, with its unique position as a crossroads in the Atlantic, has always been a place where diverse influences merge.
“In this new era, we are navigating in uncharted waters. The rapid advancements in technology bring with them unparalleled opportunities and challenges. As we embrace the benefits that they bring, we must also be vigilant in ensuring that our personal information remains secure, and our privacy rights intact. This is particularly relevant to Bermuda given our drive to act as a host jurisdiction for data servers. A drive that has had a recent boost with the announcement of a new fibre link between Europe and the US that lands here.
“Bermuda has only recently joined this debate. We have been a leader in the business regulatory arena for many years, providing appropriate frameworks and legislative regimes to support best practice for international business. Our approach to privacy is an extension of this. As many of you are fully aware, the road to privacy as an intrinsic part of business operations, is a journey. This is certainly the case for Bermuda. A key part of this journey is ensuring a culture of privacy in the various spaces within our community.”
The Minister went on to highlight Bermuda’s journey to the Personal Information Protection Act, known as PIPA. He noted that progress on PIPA has been one of collaboration and international best practice pointing out that in the development of PIPA, key considerations were taken into account to:
- Provide comprehensive protection for individuals
- Reflect established international privacy principles
- Support Bermuda’s economic interests
- Provide a light-touch regulatory regime in keeping with Bermuda’s business supportive approach
- Appropriate for a small jurisdiction
- Enable equivalency applications to be made
He added, “To that end, I am pleased to confirm the date for the full enactment of Bermuda’s PIPA, as the 1st of January 2025. This statute reflects our unwavering commitment to uphold the rights of individuals and establish a robust framework for data protection. The introduction and application of the PIPA will be overseen by Mr. Alexander White, who was appointed as Bermuda’s first Privacy Commissioner. Mr. White has, despite delays due to the global pandemic, been active in preparing the country for the introduction of the Act. I thank him for all the work he has done, and is doing.”
The Global Privacy Assembly 2023 continues this week.