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KSU respond to Legal Notice suspension

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In a press release issued this afternoon, KSU expressed its satisfaction at the recent suspension of the controversial Legal Notice 76. This Legal Notice was criticized by KSU, the Nationalist Party, and several other organisations since it allegedly allowed the Ministry for Education and Employment the empowerment to request any information related to any student in Malta and their relatives.

The press release goes on to highlight KSU’s suggestions regarding the possible use of ‘pseudonymised data’ as an alternative. This will basically involve a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Employment and educational institutions whereby the latter will provide every enrolled student with an index number. Therefore, the Ministry of Education and Employment will be able to use students’ academic data to conduct the same research they plan to while at the same time respecting their privacy. KSU also recommend that the scope of the legislation itself is made clearer and that an option that will allow students to ‘opt out’ of the research is included within any final draft.

In a statement given to InsiterOnline, KSU President Gayle Lynn Callus explained how KSU immediately set up a meeting with Mr. Saviour Cachia as soon as he was nominated as the new Data Protection Commissioner. This meeting resulted in the discussion of proposals and the setting up of a working group. Mr. Callus also pointed out that Yanica Sant, the previous KSU International Officer, and himself had put forward these proposals to the European Students’ Union (ESU) who subsequently passed them as a resolution accessible from (http://www.esu-online.org/news/article/6066/BM-66-Resolution-expressing-concern-about-the-contents-of-a-recent-legislation-in-Malta/).

When queried as to whether the term ‘suspended’ meant that the Legal Notice could still end up coming into force, Mr. Callus pointed out that the Minister for Education and Employment has publicly stated that the Legal Notice will be kept on hold until the aforementioned working group comes up with a report. This will allow them sufficient time to discuss the issue and come up with any necessary amendments.

In another statement given to InsiterOnline, SDM President Joseph Grech praised KSU and said that this ”…shows more than ever that KSU is a very relevant institution which, through proactive pressure on the government, can achieve positive results”.

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