Business is increasing in the digital space, leading to the need for an umbrella of laws to be updated to cover this new reality alongside traditional marketplaces.
Malta introduced ICT Law in the 2004 National ICT Strategy, which later evolved into the National Information & Communication Strategy Plan in 2010. This plan cemented Malta’s reputation as the European Union’s ‘Smart Island’.
ICT Law covers all regulations concerning Information and Communication Technology. It is designed to protect businesses and consumers. It covers everything from e-Commerce to internet communications, online advertising and data protection to traditional forms of communication such as television.
Malta’s Communications Sector
Communications under Maltese law include traditional methods such as fixed-line telephony and emerging digital technologies, including cloud-based software and applications, software, Voice Over Internet communications, data hosting, and hardware manufacturing.
What Malta ICT Law Covers
With the introduction of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), businesses must abide by very stringent regulations to protect clients and their data.
Malta ICT Law also protects businesses themselves by safeguarding their intellectual property rights by providing a proper framework to retain their own created content and ensure that other parties do not steal it.
The law also covers all licensing and regulatory issues, including what type of businesses and activities may be carried out in the digital and traditional communication sectors.
Additionally, Malta ICT Law regulates television broadcasting, advertising, content and relevant defamation and libel laws, and copyright, trademark, privacy and freedom of expression issues on all communication mediums. Another aspect covered by the law is e-banking licences.
Malta ICT also regulates the writing and application of software and the development of any hardware, including how data is stored and protected.
ICT Law in Malta also provides legislation to regulate licencing and agreements on web and data hosting on physical or cloud-based servers. It also provides a legal framework for website development, creation and maintenance, and purchasing and registering domain names and disputes.
Malta ICT Law also covers harmful and illegal content on the internet- this includes illegal divulsion of trade secrets, child pornography and hate speech, amongst other matters. It also covers computer-related fraud, instances of hacking, security infringements, encryption and piracy.