Video: Minister & Alex White Update On PIPA

June 15, 2023 | 0 Comments

Minister of Tourism and the Cabinet Office Vance Campbell and the Privacy Commissioner Alex White held a press conference to provide a public update on the Personal Information Protection Amendment [PIPA].

Privacy Commissioner Alex White said, “We now have an 18-month window for organisations to prepare for PIPA. This course of action has my support, and we have worked closely with our Government colleagues to determine this implementation window.

“With a single fixed, universal date we can provide legal certainty and avoid confusion about deadline. With an 18-month window, we can provide organisations with the notice they need and our office can guide them with a phased action plan.

“Our office will be working with all kinds of businesses, small & large, to help ensure the smooth transition.

“We have a variety of resources available, including:

  • video training, such as on the basics of “Privacy & PIPA”
  • more detailed written explainers on key topics, such as:
    • the elements of a privacy programme,
    • what a privacy officer is, what they do for an organisation, and how people can pursure privacy compliance and ethics as a career
    • what organisations need to consider when sharing information with third parties (in Bermuda and abroad)
    • basic cybersecurity tips
    • Guidance on privacy harms, particularly for children or vulnerable groups
    • even, the return on investment of a privacy programme
  • In addition, we have in person training events already scheduled with more to come
    • Right now, our “Road to PIPA” programme is guiding organisations in cohorts on a six-month plan towards a privacy programme – after these trial cohorts are complete, we will use the action plan for all organisations to benefit from the feedback and lessons learned
    • Our Pink Sandbox continues to work with organisations who need custom guidance, as part of our office’s Innovation Services programme to encourage organisations, whether already in Bermuda or looking to establish in Bermuda, to be creative and innovative while still meeting their obligations
  • Most recently, we have announced a partnership with the UK-based IASME Consortium to adapt their privacy and cybersecurity certifications for PIPA
    • This audit and certification programme is oriented towards small businesses, and has been very successful in the UK in helping small businesses tackle these issues.
    • This programme will also be a jobs creator, as IASME has agreed to hold training sessions on island for certification assessors

“Our office is continuing to produce guidance. We will shortly publish a comprehensive “Guide to PIPA” that has dozens of pages of tips, checklists, and other pieces of advice.

  • Even more guidance is coming, on specific topics such as what privacy means in the employment context and detailed guides for individuals on their rights.
  • We work closely with our regulatory partners both here in Bermuda and in jurisdictions around the world, such as the UK, Canada, and US, to ensure consistency and interoperability with their requirements

“Our office’s outreach in 2024 will be dedicated to guiding organisations in the community through the steps they need to meet the privacy rules of PIPA. Starting on Data Privacy Week in January 2024, we will provide the community with specific goals and actions to take each month as part of a phased action plan that puts the process of privacy compliance in bite-sized proportions.

“Organisations need time to plan, so providing these sorts of concrete action steps will allow the community to progress together.

“I’ve often said that privacy is a journey, not a destination. We as a community are all on the Road to PIPA together, and I hope the public takes away from this discussion an understanding that they will have our office’s support each and every step of the way.”

Minister of Tourism and the Cabinet Office Vance Campbell said, “Good afternoon, all. I’m pleased to be joined by the Privacy Commissioner, Mr. Alexander White.

“The Privacy Commissioner and I are delighted to provide an update to the community regarding the steps we are taking to prepare Bermuda for the Personal Information Protection Amendment Act 2023.

“We live in a data driven world and since the pandemic, we have become more and more dependent on operating in an online space.

“Personal information permeates businesses, private and public sector organisations, and workplaces, including names, addresses, personal history, contact information, medical and financial data. This information may be readily available online or easily accessed in other cases.

“Personal information, in most instances must be protected, because if it falls into the wrong hands it could be harmful to the individuals and to the organisation.

“Depending on the situation, individuals could become victims of identity theft, discrimination, physical harm, harassment or the victim of libelous and defamatory communication. Organisations may find their reputation affected or may be legally responsible.

“In this explosive digital age, this Government is committed to ensuring that all its citizens are treated fairly and appropriately protected.

“In that regard, the public will note that the Personal Information Protection Amendment (PIPA) Bill 2023 was tabled in the House of Assembly on June 2, 2023.

“This Bill seeks to amend the Personal Information Protection Act 2016, to make significant amendments to the Public Access to Information Act 2010 and the Public Access to Information Regulations 2014.

“Essentially the Bill seeks to harmonize the PIPA and PATI legislation which moves the Government a step closer to implementation of PIPA.

“Tomorrow, we will be debating this matter in the House, and I wanted to provide an opportunity to share with the public a little bit of why this legislation is so critical and why it matters to residents and businesses.

“It’s important to understand that Privacy legislation — also referred to as ‘data protection’ or ‘informational privacy’ — provides for an important human right and forms a critical building block in the creation of a successful information society.

“The aim of the PIPA is to put the control over the use of personal information into the hands of individuals.

“Privacy is often confused with Public Access to Information, or Freedom of Information. They have similarities but are quite different.

“PATI gives the public the right to obtain access to information held by Public Authorities to the greatest extent possible, subject to exceptions that are in the public interest or for the protection of the rights of others.

“PATI’s purpose is to inform the public about the activities of Public Authorities, including the manner in which they make decisions.

“The Personal Information Protection Amendment Bill will resolve overlapping provisions currently found in PATI and the PATI Regulations 2014 with the PIPA to ensure, for example, one definition of personal information and one legislative regime to request and correct one’s own personal information.

“The amendments primarily allow personal information requests to public authorities to be managed through PIPA and not PATI once PIPA comes into force.

“With the anticipated passage in the House of Assembly of the Personal Information Protection Amendment Bill 2023, I can advise that PIPA will formally come into force on January 1, 2025.

“I recognize that PIPA can seem like a daunting prospect for our community.

“And admittedly, there is much to consider when it comes to what is required, and what the public’s responsibility is as it relates to privacy and the protection of personal information.

“I can assure the public that much work has gone on to prepare Bermuda for PIPA.

“As an example, the Privacy Commissioner was appointed in January 2020.

“The Office of the Privacy Commissioner will be responsible for monitoring the implementation of PIPA and using his powers as stated in the PIPA for its management and enforcement.

“As part of the Privacy Commissioner’s “Road to PIPA”, Mr. White has also been very active in issuing guidance, offering extensive training and working with industry groups to help them understand their requirements and to ensure their adoption of PIPA.

“The Privacy Commissioner will continue working across the community with businesses to help ensure the smooth transition.

“In particular, we want to stress that we are sensitive to our small businesses, entrepreneurs and medium-sized businesses as we prepare for PIPA and I can assure them that special assistance and guidance will be provided to make sure they are ready. In fact, the Privacy Commissioner will provide user-friendly resources that allow them to manage privacy themselves.

“Finally, I should point out that PIPA is designed to meet international best practice, and many of Bermuda’s competitors already comply with data protection and privacy provisions including small jurisdictions such as Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Jersey, Cayman and others.

“Furthermore, the European Union requires companies that conduct financial services in the EU to have this legislation. In the United States, recent laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act are also in line with this legislation.

“And with the implementation of this legislation, Bermuda will join other international destinations in becoming a country that falls within the ‘network of trust’.

“Tomorrow, I will lead the parliamentary debate in the House of Assembly on this critical piece of legislation. I encourage the public to tune in so they can learn more about the steps that this Government is taking to ensure that their rights are protected.

“I’d now like to invite the Privacy Commissioner to share with you the steps his office will take over the next 18-months to support the business community in preparation for PIPA. Thank you.”

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