A Bill to protect the personal information of Bermuda residents – the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) – has been passed in the House of Assembly.

Last year the Government of Bermuda, under the Ministry of Economic Development, introduced a Draft Model Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) that fortified privacy protection rights for all residents. The PIPA Draft Model was sent out for public consultation from July 10th to August 17th, 2015. It covered personal information in both the online and offline environments (ie. filing cabinets), including provisions for the protection of children's personal information, the use of "sensitive" information such as details about one's race, religion, sexual orientation, etc, and access to medical records.

This very timely and important piece of legislation passed in the House on Friday July 15th.

In a recent news article, Dr. Grant Gibbons, Minister of Economic Development, indicated that 'Pipa will give people the peace of mind that the use of their personal information is "limited and secure", he added, while also providing the ability to have incorrect personal information held by an institution amended. Privacy will be the right of the island's residents and their families and Bermuda will be recognised internationally as a jurisdiction that can be trusted with personal information.'

Implementation is expected to be delayed for about two years. A privacy commissioner will be appointed shortly, however, to help everyone prepare.

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