A message by the Dean of the Faculty for Social Wellbeing
As Dean of the Faculty for Social Wellbeing, I note with great displeasure the most recent spread of personal and intimate information against the consent of the owner of such data. From ID card numbers to intimate pictures or videos not aimed at a public audience, data has become an essential part of societal experience in the 21st Century. Arguably, the complete reliance on digitally stored and transmitted data can result in having particular subsets of data being an extension of one’s personhood. Respecting privacy in an age where everything is so easily known and transmitted is imperative in order to give persons the right to enjoy societal life without having information, they have not opted to share publicly, being used against them.
Referring to the case which has made the media rounds in the last few days I note with displeasure the misogynistic thread that seeks to punish female sexuality. Sharing media that was not intended for the public eye is a betrayal of trust at the deepest levels. No action can deserve the national shame and gossip that the person in question has been subjected to. We call for investigators to make full use of all their tools and to prosecute with seriousness the person/s involved to communicate the message that such acts are intolerable.
I urge all those who have received these violations of intimacy to delete the media and not share them further. In addition to the issue of legality, caring for the dignity and wellbeing of other human beings should remain at the centre of our actions as a society. I hope that the culprit/s of this heinous breach of trust is/are brought to justice quickly and that there is a continuous investment in mature and pluralistic sexual education to ensure that the new frontiers of digital sexuality are engaged by all in a safe and respectful manner.
Prof. Andrew Azzopardi
Disclaimer: Opinions and thoughts expressed within this article do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Malta.