Do you believe the legal system specifically encourages or hinders digital services?
Malta, as a member state of the European Union, seeks to be compliant with EU legislation. By doing so, this also contributes to its aim to attract business and investment from foreign countries. The Maltese Government recognises that we are living in an increasingly digital world and realises that investment in digital services is essential. In fact, together with the Malta Information Technology Agency (‘MITA’), the Maltese Government provides its services and information by means of an electronic system. In 2016, by the Government of Malta launched a Cyber Security Strategy (the ‘Strategy’) with the aim to review current legislation and create legal and regulatory frameworks to cater for the Strategy’s goals such as securing cyber-space and combatting cybercrime. Moreover, the eIDAS Regulation which became directly applicable in Maltese law has paved the way for citizens and entities alike to be able to better access and utilise online services. Consequentially, the E-Commerce Act was amended by means of Act XXXV of 2016 to guarantee the effective implementation of such Regulation.
On a general note, the Norwegian legal system encourages the provision and use of digital services. As a result, Norway is considered an early adopter of new technology. Furthermore, Norway has implemented a large number of Acts governing the use of digital services and technology.
It also bears mentioning that the Norwegian Government has devoted its attention to the provision and use of new digital services provided by the sharing economy. On 6 February 2017, the government-appointed Committee on the Sharing Economy published their report on, inter alia, new technologies that might change the economy by; lowering the transactional costs associated with entering into contracts and complete transactions, creating new market- and business models, streamlining the utilisation of resources such as transportation vehicles, tools, or other property, and creating new employment opportunities. The Committee proposed several changes in legislation, and encouraged the Norwegian Tax Authority and the Ministry of Finance to examine these challenges.
We believe that our legal system encourages digital services by trying to keep up with the technological developments. While there are certain issues regarding taxation of digital service providers that are not located in Turkey, it is fair to say that the legal system is creating a safe environment which both protect the consumers and digital service providers.