Political parties should not be permitted to store voter information 2023

Saturday, ADPD leader Sandra Gauci called for a ban on political parties retaining voters’ personal information in an effort to restore public confidence following a significant data breach.

“The storage and misuse of personal information is a severe concern that threatens the privacy and safety of individuals across the nation.

“The fact that this data was allegedly used to discriminate against individuals based on their political beliefs is a clear violation of their rights to freedom of expression and association,” Gauci said at a news conference held Saturday morning outside Labour Party headquarters.

The leader of the ADPD was referring to allegations that the government used a massive dataset of all registered electors in Malta to favor pro-Labour candidates applying for public sector employment.

The 2020 breach exposed information on 337,384 individuals, including their names, addresses, ID information, phone numbers, and voting preferences. The database combined information held by the Labour Party with a dataset developed by C-Planet Solutions, the IT company that exposed the database.

Additionally, the database included a ‘1’ or ‘2’ next to each voter. A ‘1’ indicated that the voter is a Labour supporter, while a ‘2’ indicated that the voter leans toward the Nationalist Party.

Sandra Gauci demands a complete investigation into Labour-linked C-Planet data breach.

According to anonymous sources cited by The Shift News, this information was used to favor Labour candidates for government positions. C-Planet, which is owned by Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi’s brother-in-law, was fined €65,000 by the data protection commissioner for failing to adequately secure the data.

ADPD leader Gauci demanded additional investigation by the data protection commissioner into political involvement in the breach and urged legislators to prohibit political parties from storing voters’ personal information.

“Those culpable for this scandal must also be held accountable for their conduct. This includes not only those who participated explicitly in discriminatory practices, but also those who enabled them, she stated.

Melissa Bagley, deputy secretary general of the ADPD, stated that the controversy threatened the very foundations of Maltese democracy.

“The government must ensure that our public services are staffed by qualified and competent individuals, regardless of their political affiliations.” By engaging in discriminatory practices, the government undermines the integrity of our recruitment processes for the public service,” she stated.

She added that the government’s reticence was concerning, as the lack of transparency and accountability only served to further erode public confidence in our institutions.

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