Police and TM likely breaking the law – expert

The Malta Police Force

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Experts in IT Law, who spoke to Newsbook.com.mt on condition of anonymity, said that the MoU signed between the Police and Transport Malta (TM) is likely to be in breach of the law. While the Information & Data Protection Commissioner informed Newsbook.com.mt that he has not been consulted, this website found it impossible to contact the Data Protection Officers of the Police Corps and TM.

Police now have access to Transport Malta cameras

I have not been consulted – DP Commissioner

Data Protection Commissioner Saviour Cachia told Newsbook.com.mt that he had not been consulted about this Memorandum of Understanding. It has been reported that the police will now have access to the video material recorded by 60 cameras which Transport Malta operates all over Malta and Gozo, and by a further 250 which will be installed on the traffic network in the coming months.

Cachia said that his office will analyse this MoU when it is available. The MoU, signed by the Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar and TM chairman Joseph Bugeja in the presence of Minister Michael Farrugia, has not been made public.

Cachia explained that one has to analyse the use that will be made of the video recorded material as well as the length of the time period during which the video material will be stored.

He emphasised that Transport Malta is bound by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation about data protection while the Police is bound by another law regulation the sector.

Likely breaking the law – expert

A legal expert contacted by Newsbook.com.mt said that this agreement between TM and the Police looks “…very likely to be in breach of the GDPR legislation”.

“When there is large-scale capturing of personal data, then a Data Protection Impact Assessment needs to be carried out before the operations can start,” he said, adding that this assessment needs to be greenlighted by the Information and Data Protection Commissioner.

The answers Commissioner Cachia gave Newsbook assert that this Assessment doesn’t seem to have taken place, and the Commissioner has not been consulted at all.