GDPR – Two years on

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Dr Roselyn Borg and Angelito Sciberras

Advisory 21, in collaboration with 21 Law, has hosted its second annual conference, GDPR – 2 Years On, on 24 June. While the conference had to be rescheduled due to the pandemic crisis, alternative arrangements were being made by the team to hold the conference virtually. In a first in Advisory 21’s history of organising conferences, workshops and seminars, the conference was held in a professional studio with all the trimmings to ensure that participants were provided with the highest quality which could be possibly mustered. A dedicated camera crew and the technical team made sure that the conference made participants feel as close as possible to actually being there with the speakers on the panel.

Despite the setbacks, no impediment to the quality and variety of the content of the conference was made. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from a number of experts in their respective fields, who discussed numerous topics, such as international outlooks on the GDPR’s impact and reception, together with substantial insight into the local sphere and the Regulation’s application therein.

Among the speakers were Dr David Ciliberti, Legal & Policy officer at DG Just (European Commission) who gave an overview of what the GDPR has meant for EU states throughout these past two years and how national authorities have reacted to it, together with Brian Zarb Adami, CEO of CyberSift, who provided an eye-opening wake-up call to the vulnerability of our data when processed through several technological means. Ian Deguara, Malta’s deputy Data Protection commissioner engaged in an interesting discussion with Angelito Sciberras on the practical aspects of the GDPR’s impact in Malta, while also opining on the works of Malta’s Information and Data Protection Commissioner’s Office and further developments to be expected from it throughout the coming weeks and months.

Throughout the conference, Dr Roselyn Borg and Dr Sarah Cannataci also discussed in great detail several cases which relate to data protection and the application of the GDPR, both from Malta and from other EEA states. Case content varied greatly, from the legal limits of CCTV systems, to when private persons may be found liable of breaching data protection law and even to whether covert recordings can be admissible as evidence in Maltese courts, to name a few. Surveying the decisions emanating from these cases provide all states in which the Regulation applies a strong grounding as to the manner in which individual national authorities interpret the content thereof.

All in all, in spite of the global crisis that Malta (and the rest of the world) has been faced with during these past months, the conference has, the second time round, once again been a great success and has been well received by attendees. The team at Advisory 21 and 21 Law express their sincere hope to be able to welcome all participants once again in the coming years to share what Malta, and the rest of the continent, would have learnt throughout each year.