The meaning of Data Privacy Data by GO’s DPO and Information Security Specialist

28 January 2022


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January 28th marks Data Protection Day, aiming to raise awareness on the right to data protection, a topic of critical importance in the digital world we all live in.

For GO, data protection is one of our top priorities, for our customers and our People, and we wanted to speak to our Data Protection Officer and our Information Security team, the ones protecting our data.

What does GO do in terms of Data Privacy?

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Antoine: At GO, we consider data to be one of the most important resources at our disposal. Whether it is customers’ data or employees’ data, we understand the importance of personal data and the right to privacy. As controllers, processors, users of such data, we are committed to do our utmost to keep personal data as safe as possible. In line with local and international regulations, GO processes all personal data lawfully and in a proportionate, fair and justified manner which recognises, respects and protects customers’ and employees’ rights.

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Hubert: As Antoine mentioned, data privacy is extremely important at GO and we continuously do our utmost to protect the information we create or are entrusted with, be it sensitive business data as well as personal information related to employees and customers. This is accomplished via various information security controls as well as all the processes GO employees make use of while handling such data in their day-to-day work, ranging from hardening of systems that process and store the information, to using secure channels of communication when transferring the information from one place to another as our business processes require.

What is your role?

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Antoine: As Data Protection Officer (DPO) of the Company, my primary role is to ensure that the Company complies with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations (EU GDPR) and relevant Maltese data protection law(s) and regulations. It is my duty to inform and advise all members of staff on their obligation to adhere to such regulations when dealing with personal data and to act as point of contact to our employees and customers and likewise with the supervisory authority on any personal data matters. It is also my duty to ascertain the extent to which personal data is collected, held and/or used in GO, and that it is properly controlled and safeguarded from loss of confidentiality, integrity, or availability from any cause.

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Hubert: As an Information Security Specialist I make part of a small, but very dedicated, team of professionals working tirelessly to protect against the continuous attempts of various malicious actors, who try incessantly to compromise our systems and gain unauthorised access to the information we hold. We also educate our staff on best practices like cyber hygiene and to ensure we are always following the necessary policies and procedures.

What do you enjoy the most about working in the data privacy field?

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Antoine: Considering that breaches of data carry significant risks to the Company, ensuring that all our colleagues are aware of the importance of safeguarding the data at our disposal, and knowing that each one of us is contributing to the cause, makes me proud to be part of this wonderful One Team.

What challenges do you face in data privacy?

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Hubert: Although Data Privacy falls directly under the responsibility of the Data Protection Officer, protecting data is obviously one of the most important aspects of Information Security. The Information Security team is constantly working with and assisting the DPO in various initiatives intended to better secure the information we hold, as well as provide guidance to our employees on the safest ways to handle the information they work with. We face similar challenges as other organisations do and unfortunately, malicious attempts to gain unauthorised access to information never stops as can be seen in the various data breaches reported around the world. We should always be careful to identify our weaknesses and protect them as best as we can. Attackers are persistent and will continue trying so we should never let our guard down. The hard truth is that all it takes is for one careless click on a phishing email to make a hacker’s day and we are only as secure as our weakest link. That does not mean we should give up though and as our mottos say, “be cyberaware, be alert, be safe” and be “safer together”.

What’s the future of data privacy?

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Antoine: Data privacy will continue to play a very important role in our day-to-day matters and will keep evolving in line with our everchanging way of doing things. As a matter of fact, the ePrivacy Regulation, which is a work in progress, will expand the 2002 ePrivacy Directive’s scope to cover newer technologies like instant messaging apps and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) platforms, and machine-to-machine communications such as the IoT (Internet of Things). It is intended to complement the GDPR’s general rules on personal data processing by providing specific rules governing electronic communications. It is envisaged that unlike the GDPR, the ePrivacy Regulation will not only apply to just personal data but will also affect B2B marketing for instance, an area we will continue to monitor in the near future.

Regardless of our role, our team is striving daily to keep each other and GO safe. Our Data Protection experts organise yearly security trainings, regularly share internally campaigns to educate and raise awareness on the threats and dangers, and most importantly have an open door for an ongoing communication between us for any advice or help we might need.

Living in a digital world offers an abundance of benefits, such as access to education, the ability to work from home, entertainment, connectivity with our loved ones, running errands and shopping digitally, access to news and information that help protect our health, safety, and rights.

Along with the opportunities, the digital world brings a diverse range of risks and harms, to which we need to be aware and remain safe, and we would like to extend our motto and advice to you too; be cyberaware, be alert and be safe.

Have a look at our careers page and get in touch with us if you want to take your career to the next step by joining our star One GO Team!

For GO products and services, visit our official website or get in touch with our experts online or by visiting any of our GO outlets.