12 November 2003

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Gatt announces Microsoft training for police

IT and Investments Minister Austin Gatt yesterday said that within the next month, Microsoft Corporation will be providing training to all members of the Police Corps to fight the abuse of intellectual property.
Gatt was addressing the Malta Employers’ Association on Data Protection to explain how the recently-introduced Data Protection Act was an essential safeguard to the protection of citizens’ privacy.
"Our country is part of the global reality in which information and its storage are the most important tools for commerce. Every sales strategy is built on consumer profiles, and for these to be precise and useful, so have to be the information on consumer. But citizens are not only consumers, and every private citizen has the right to be sure that his consumer dimension does not threaten his privacy."
Gatt said the rate of advancement in technology has warranted a regulatory force that can safeguard individuals’ rights, and that does not ignore the fact that technology can also create new abuses against people, amongst them a risk against privacy.
Gatt also said that the Data Protection Act was also concerned with electronic security for internet transactions. "Our aim is to create trust in technology, and that who wants to sell or buy will have their minds at rest when using technology. The law on electronic commerce has recognised that the same way as one buys and sells from a shop, one can do the same through Internet. This is the new reality that requires new regulations which safeguard our rights."
Gatt said that in the same way that theft, abuse and crime happen in the physical world, so can the same happen through the Internet, and this had to be taken into account through changes within the Criminal Code.
"I would look to emphasise that the term ‘cyber-crime’ is no new form of criminality created through technology, but a new tool for criminality… your employees could also have ulterior motives to the way you wish your business’s technology to function, requiring relationships of responsibility and security, to earn the trust of your customers.
"I an say with satisfaction that the Cybercrime Unit of the Policy is appreciating its responsibilities in this sector. Its talents, and one has to mention Inspector Paul Caruana here, are the first and best shield for us as citizens from criminals armed with the latest technology. Who fights on the side of good has to be armed as well."

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
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