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GRTU Malta Chamber of SMEs organised a seminar on the 25th April 2018 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.

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.

The conference was recorded and is available below. Please note that this conference deferred from others because it was a question and answer session. Questions were collected from members and through research and the moderator asked the panel these questions. The video thus includes practical information and not useless legal rethoric.

The video below is available for free for GRTU Members. Please call on 2123 2881 to get your login and password if you are a member. If you are not a member, you can view the video by paying €8 through your Paypal account. Once you pay you can watch the video more than once.

 
Here is a sample of the questions asked :
  • Does GDPR apply in any way to Business to Business (B2B)?
  • My company has been in business for many years and our client database numbers in the thousands. Many of them are past clients. What should I do with the data of past clients for whom I do not have consent to retain the data after the sale?
  • I sell electronics and when I make a sale I record the client’s details for warranty purposes. Should I include a GDPR disclaimer in my warranty form? Once the warranty period is over, should I delete the data?
  • If I am running a loyalty scheme and have thousands of members who I had not asked for specific consent to keep their data and consent to send them promotional materials, what should I do?
 
 

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