From this year, small enterprises will have a tool to help them be in conformity with the Data Protect law. The Office of the Commissioner for Data Protection is one of 19 NGO entities being helped by the European Services in Malta (formerly known as MEUSAC) to apply and obtain European funds for this type of project.
The European data protection regulations, known as GDPR came into effect in May 2018, to regulate the processing of personal information which is a fundamental right. The office of the Data Protection Commissioner obtained €250,000 for this project which is divided in two parts.
The first part which started in December 2019 consisted of an awareness campaign about the new rules and their importance. This has borne fruit because over the last few months, the number of complaints and their complexity, have increased.
The second part of the project, which should be ready by the end of this year, is a tool which will be available on the Internet to help small enterprises conform with the data protection law.
Data Protection Commissioner Ian Deguara said, “this tool will help start ups and even micro SMEs which form a large part of the businesses in our country to help them comply with GDPR. What is GDPR? This tool will give you guidelines on what you should do, depending on your business and what type of information you can process to be in line with the rules.”
Justice and Governance Minister Edward Zammit Lewis described small enterprises as the backbone of the Maltese economy and they often cannot afford human resources which would specifically ensure that GDPR laws are being adhered to.
The Minister in the Office of the PM, Carmelo Abela described the project as a clear example of how Europeans funds are used to arrive directly to the people and stressed the importance of working for everyone to have access to these funds.
He added that 19 entities have been helped by the European Services inn Malta, including the Data Protection office, to obtain these funds, while appealing to those organisations which feel they have a project they need to implement, to approach the agency so that the country can continue to successfully access European funds.