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GRTU Malta Chamber of SMEs has today organised a seminar for business owners to assist Maltese SMEs in becoming compliant with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The new GDPR, enters into force in a month’s time, on the 25th of May 2018. For the first time, this new regulation will create a common set of EU rules to enable the flow of data in the EU Digital Single Market and give stronger rights to citizens and consumers.

GRTU remains committed to ensure that SMEs are provided with all the information which would enable their business to become compliant and avoid the hefty fines that could be imposed by this regulation. GRTU insists that there is no one-size-fits all and that the implementing authorities shall continue with their awareness educational campaign before opting for penalising genuine omissions. This is a learning process for all stakeholders.

 

GRTU President Paul Abela said that ‘’with the advancements of electronics, IT and social media, the level of interactivity of businesses has increased dramatically, something that GRTU itself encourages. At the same time however, this has sometimes resulted in an overkill and consumers growing tired of constantly being targeted with marketing material and feeling that their privacy is being stepped into.’’ ‘’We hope that the General Data Protection Regulation will iron out these issues and help us understand how we can improve our enterprises to give an even better service to our customers, because the solution, in our opinion, should never be to retract but to improve and advance.’’

Addressing those present, Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Protection and Valletta 2018 Hon. Deo Debbattista said that ‘’The General Data Protection Regulation should not be considered as an obstacle and should not be turned into a fear for fines or new administrative procedures. Rather, I feel that this regulation should be considered as an opportunity to strengthen trust between us and with those we serve.’’

During the seminar, the Commissioner for Information and Data Protection explained the new regulation and discussed it with expertise from the private sector. ‘’Data Protection is a fundamental human right.’’ ‘’It is in businesses’ interest to comply with the GDPR’’ he said. Furthermore, those present had the opportunity of directly putting forward their questions and/or concerns.

The seminar will be available online for the benefit of business owners who could not attend today. Interested parties may get in touch with the GRTU Malta Chamber of SMEs for more information.

This seminar was organised with the support of the Parliamentary Secretariat for Consumer Protection and Valletta 2018 and the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority.

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