Privacy chief at digital trade talks
Bermuda could join other countries as a signatory to a global understanding of privacy, allowing for personal information to flow freely between jurisdictions.
Alexander White, the island’s privacy commissioner has already expressed Bermuda’s interest in participation on the newly created Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules Forum during digital trade agreement discussions.
The forum already includes the US, Canada and countries from the regional trade group Asia Pacific Economic co-operation, which includes Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea and others.
The commissioner’s office said that some of the most critical questions about the modern digital economy related to how personal information was to be protected and respected when crossing international borders.
Mr White was invited to speak to members of the CBPR Forum about the benefits and potential for Bermuda and other countries to participate in the data transfer system.
The statement said Bermuda was considered to be a candidate to join the trade and enforcement co-operation agreement and to help set the worldwide rules of the modern digital economy.
Certification mechanisms such as the CBPR can provide a dependable and predictable system for protecting rights while allowing the proper use of data. The CBPR system was originally developed as a regional agreement for the Asia Pacific.
If Bermuda were to join, individual Bermudians would gain the ability to hold overseas organisations accountable for their privacy rights.
The CBPR Forum would provide Bermudian organisations with a standardised, predictable mechanism to access markets and overseas third parties in participating economies.
Businesses would gain certainty in their operations and in the cross-border data transfers that must occur in the course of ordinary business.
The inaugural meeting of the Global Cross Border Privacy Rules Forum was held last month in Honolulu.
Bermuda was one of 20 participating countries at the event, which included representatives from other CBPR Forum non-members Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dubai, and the United Kingdom.
Commissioner White was invited to attend and speak as a featured panellist, and Bermuda Government staff participated online. His attendance did not incur a public expense.
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