Rights of Individual under Data Protection Law

By: Sonny Zulhuda

In the week that passed I spoke in one national seminar on Personal Data Protection Act that took place in the The Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur, July 21, 2010. The audience came from various industries including banks, regulators, insurance, medical services, investment as well as legal firms.

My session that went between 12.00 -01.00 pm focused on the Rights of Individuals as Data Subjects under the newly-passed Personal Data Protection Act 2010 of Malaysia. Those rights of data subjects were provided in Part Two, division 4, sections 30-44. In short, those rights can be enlisted as follows:

  • Right to access
  • Right to correct data
  • Right to withdraw consent for data processing
  • Right on sensitive data
  • Right to prevent distress/damage
  • Right to prevent direct marketing

The session was ended with discussing some prominent issues that confronted individuals such as issues of workplace monitoring, junk mail/spam, data theft, and pictures taken at public places. One important message (of many) that I discussed with audience was that, in order to achieve better implementation of law, organizations should see and manage it using the perspective of individuals, not merely that of the organisation; because in organisations, their people (employers, employees, business partners) are all data subjects too.


  1. Good day to you. I am doing a research paper on online data server privacy.

    As many personal data are stored on a shared and public server, does the government have more access to it than on a private server? Is that any law that says they can access the data and files much more easier?

    Because I read a book that says in US, under the Stored Communications Act, it allow the FBI access to data without a warrant or the owner’s consent.

    Is there such a thing in Malaysia?

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. Can I ask..In the case on Anwar Ibrahim, he refused to give his DNA. Is this right protected under the Personal Data Protection?

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