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Ensuring security and upholding privacy

Omar Dill is a regional organiser for the Free Democratic Movement

As the regional organiser for the Free Democratic Movement, engaging with constituencies 8 (Smith’s South), 9 (Smith’s West), 10 (Smith’s North) and 11 (Devonshire East), I am closely attuned to community needs and governmental actions.

The recent concerns in Constituency 10 surrounding the installation of surveillance cameras have highlighted broader issues that resonate across all the constituencies I represent. These challenges are not merely about surveillance; they fundamentally concern the adequacy of representation and the security of our communities.

Residents of Constituency 10 have voiced significant discomfort with surveillance cameras that seem to compromise rather than enhance public safety. Their concerns are amplified by uncertainties surrounding where the camera data is stored, its retention period and the security of this data, especially in the wake of the significant cyberattack on the Government last year.

These unresolved issues fuel anxiety and expose a troubling lack of transparency in our handling of sensitive information, which is essential for our national security.

In addressing these concerns, striking a balance between maintaining security and protecting individual privacy is crucial. Surveillance should enhance safety without undermining personal privacy or community trust.

According to the guidelines from Bermuda’s Personal Information Protection Act, security measures must be transparent, justified and aligned with the community's needs. Pipa requires that surveillance systems incorporate strong protections for personal information throughout its storage, transmission and processing to ensure secure and responsible handling.

There have to be members of the ruling party who question the wisdom of the camera placements, yet they remain silent publicly. This silence erodes public trust and impedes addressing legitimate community concerns about monitoring practices.

The practice of nominating candidates who lack genuine connections to their constituencies fosters alienation and contributes to a narrative of neglect that can stifle our progress in revitalising tourism, sustaining international business and maintaining Bermuda as a thriving, educated country.

It is essential that we invest in our people, ensuring they feel safe, heard and genuinely represented.

The introduction of surveillance technologies must involve clear communication and meaningful community engagement to avoid feelings of intrusion. While technological advancements are vital, they must be implemented responsibly, adhering to strict protocols to prevent misuse and ensure they serve their intended purposes without violating privacy.

The FDM is committed to integrity and accountability, promoting environmentally friendly and community-focused solutions to local issues such as the longstanding odours from farming in Constituency 10.

Our commitment is to not only address immediate concerns, but to enhance the long-term wellbeing of our communities.

As Bermuda nears significant electoral decisions, we face a choice about the type of future we want to cultivate. Will we accept opaque governance and disconnected representation, or will we strive for community-oriented, transparent and accountable leadership?

The residents of Constituency 10, along with those in constituencies 8, 9 and 11, deserve a future where their needs and rights are at the forefront.

The FDM is leading the charge for these changes, advocating for policies that closely align with the needs and rights of Bermudians across all constituencies. Now is the time for all candidates and elected officials to demonstrate the integrity and commitment that our communities deserve.

Our collective action now will determine the future of our island, ensuring that every voice is heard and every community is uplifted. Together, we can build a Bermuda characterised by love, oneness and enduring prosperity.

• Omar Dill is a regional organiser for the Free Democratic Movement

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