The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will become applicable in all Member States, including Malta, as from 25 May 2018. It will replace the EU’s Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC which was transposed into our national law in 2001. Data Protection legislation regulates the processing of all personal data, and the aim of the GDPR is to further strengthen such protection for all individuals within the EU.
In order to ensure the proper implementation of data protection rules by the banking industry, the Malta Bankers’ Association (MBA) in conjunction with the Office of the Information and Data Protection Commissioner had, in October 2008, published “Data Protection Guidelines for the Promotion of Good Practice in the Banking Sector”. These Guidelines are now being revised by the MBA, again in close collaboration with the Office of the Information and Data Protection Commissioner, to take into account the new provisions of the GDPR.
The joint Working Group which was set up for this purpose has held regular meetings over the past months, and it is envisaged that these new Guidelines, once finally approved by the Commissioner, will be published to replace the current ones by the time the GDPR comes into force next year.
Mr James Bonello, MBA Secretary General, explained that “the Guidelines are intended to focus on those sections of the Regulation which may not be entirely clear, or which could lend themselves to differing interpretations, thereby ensuring that a common understanding is arrived at, and a consistent interpretation is applied, across the banking sector”.
The Guidelines will be made available to the general public on the websites of the Malta Bankers’ Association and of its member banks, as well as on that of the Office of the Information and Data Protection Commissioner.